Read "Lucifer's Hammer" - all of Niven and Pournelle's fictional astrophysicists were telling the media the exact same thing.
My wife read this, and it "affected her mind" as one says - i.e. it seemed real to her. I didn't read it, but I recall the jacket blurb, "The odds were one in a million, then they were one in a thousand, and then ..."
So from this, the authors accurately depicted NASA's procedure as we see it in action here, except the improved calculations in this fictional scenario went the wrong way.