When NASA launched its LADEE spacecraft from Virginia on the night of September 6, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It wasn’t until later when the photos were being reviewed that NASA realized there was an unexpected figure in one of their photographs.
Properly naming him the “NASA frog,” NASA posted the photograph on Instagram with the hashtag #photobomb. They report that it is unknown what happened to the frog, but many speculate that it didn’t end well for our little amphibious friend.
Many wonder how the frog came to be so close to the launchpad, but NASA did their best to explain: “NASA’s launch facilities, roads, and facilities take up a small percentage of the area. The rest of the area remains undeveloped and provides excellent habitat for wildlife. During launches, short term disturbance occurs in the immediate vicinity of the launch pads, but the disturbance is short-lived allowing space launches and a wildlife habitat to coexist.”
LADEE is on its way into lunar orbit and NASA’s most recent updates report that everything seems to be going well aboard the spacecraft and engines are performing nicely.
While the NASA frog cannot be seen in the video of the LADEE launch, the successful launch itself is just as cool to watch as always.