NASA's Frog Photobomb: "The Condition of the Frog, However, Is Uncertain"

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 12 2013 12:30 PM

NASA's Frog Photobomb: "The Condition of the Frog, However, Is Uncertain"

Take a good look at the amazing photo below, which was snapped by one of NASA's remote cameras during last week's launch of the LADEE spacecraft at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. "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," NASA explains in the accompanying caption. "The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain."

NASAFrog

So why would a frog be hanging around the launchpad? As Universe Today, which appears to be the first outlet to spot the image, explains: the Wallops Island Spaceport sits among a wildlife refuge, and the launchpad itself has a pool of water for the "high-volume deluge system" that activates during launches to suppress noise and protect the pad from damage. That pool likely seemed like as good a resting spot as any for our protagonist pre-launch. (That's definitely a better explanation than my original guess, which was that our amphibious hero was simply still upset that Kermit was relegated to second fiddle in Muppets from Space.)

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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