It takes an impressive animal to steal the spotlight from a NASA launch, and one little frog from Virginia managed to do just that.
In a photo captured by one of NASA’s remote cameras during last week’s launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, the itty-bitty amphibian is seen illuminated to the left, sailing through the air at almost the same height as the vessel next to it. “The photo team confirms the frog,” NASA explained in a caption that accompanied the photo’s release. “The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain.”
While it’s unclear how the critter managed to get from lily pad to launch pad, one theory suggests it may have found its way over from the wildlife refuge that surrounds the Wallops Island Spaceport. The launch pad itself has a pool of water used to suppress noise and protect the pad from damage during launch, so the frog could have simply been resting there at the wrong time.
Here’s hoping the little guy’s got as many lives as a cat.