WASHINGTON – A frog may have croaked after it was blasted into the air when a spacecraft launched at Virginia’s Wallops/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport last week.
One of NASA’s remote cameras on the launchpad captured a frog splayed in mid-air as the LADEE spacecraft lifted off. NASA says it is not known if the frog survived after being airborne.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility/Chris Perry
NASA confirmed the image is accurate, although the date on the image is listed incorrectly on its website. The photo says it was captured on Sept. 6, 2012, while the LADEE launch occurred Sept. 6, 2013.
“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 posted on its website.
The frog may have been near the launchpad because of its proximity to a “pool” for a high-volume water deluge system, according to NBC News. The deluge system was likely a cool, damp place for the frog to reside.
The LADEE will orbit the moon to collect information about its atmosphere and environmental influences on lunar dust, according to NASA.
Watch the LADEE launch in the video below:
Follow @WTOP on Twitter.