NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft lift-off at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia was supposed to be the highlight last Friday, September 6, but a recently released image shows a tiny frog's photobomb that stole the attention.
The frog photobomb at NASA's LADEE launch. NASA confirms image is real.
Photo Credit: Twitter/@RMNoblePhotog
The force coming from the spacecraft's lift-off caused the frog to be hurled high in the air and the remote camera that the Minotaur V rocket's roar triggered captured the unexpected creature appearing next to the LADEE launch. The frog photobomb was documented on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Web site.
NASA officials assured people doubting the validity of the frog photobomb that the captured image is real. "The photo team confirms the frog is real and was captured in a single frame by one of the remote cameras used to photograph the launch. The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain," NASA officials wrote down as a description on the captured image.
Allard Beutel, a spokesperson for NASA, even sent an email statement to The Star to confirm the authenticity of the image. "There were about 8 or 9 frames in the sequence. However, this is the only one showing the image of a frog," Mr Beutel shared.
According to a Space.com report, it is not the first time that an incident like this happened. Back in 2009, a tiny bat tried to join the space shuttle Discovery journey as it clung on to the spacecraft during its launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
"Based on images and video, a wildlife expert who provides support to the center said the small creature was a free tail bat that likely had a broken left wing and some problem with its right shoulder or wrist. The animal likely perished quickly during Discovery's climb into orbit," NASA officials stated in 2009.
The recently launched LADEE spacecraft is a month-long robotic mission to the moon where it will observe and collect information on the lunar atmosphere and dust as well as surface conditions. "LADEE will orbit the planet two more times before performing a major burn on Oct. 6 that is expected to send it into lunar orbit," NASA officials revealed.
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