A frog has been captured during NASA’s latest rocket launch last week – and could have croaked in the process.
Look closely at the image and you will notice a small reptile streaking alongside a huge spacecraft programmed for a moon mission from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Friday.
“The frog was likely hanging out at a pool near to the launchpad which stores water for a high pressure sprinkler system to prevent fires after launches and to suppress noise,” The Daily Mail writes.
The pool would have provided a damp cool place for the now-frazzled frog,” the tabloid adds.
NASA has confirmed that the frog on its photo is not a trick, with a spokesman saying: “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 photo was first uploaded on Wednesday by Universe Today and soon it has spreaded in the Internet, prompting some super puns we have to share.
“This frog gives new meaning to “flying leap,” (or giant leap).” Universe Today writes in its post. “From lily pad to launch pad.” The Independent adds. “An unlucky frog took a giant leap for mankind.” News.com.au reports.
“The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain,” NASA says on its website, but these kind of things tend not to end well for amphibians.
Now,everyone would like to known how did the frog get there in the first place?
“The launchpad at the Wallops/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport has a ‘pool’ for the high-volume water deluge system that activates during launches to protect the pad from damage and for noise suppression, and likely there was a (formerly) damp, cool place that was a nice spot for a frog to hang out,” Universe Today reported.
While the frog’s future remains uncertain, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) continues its mission.
The orbiter is scheduled to reach lunar orbit in the beginning of October and then commence gathering “detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust,” NASA reports.
“A thorough understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well.”
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer has undergone a “reaction wheel issue” soon after its launch on top of a 90-foot rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, the space agency said.
“The reaction wheel issue noted soon after launch was resolved a few hours later,” said S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “The LADEE spacecraft is healthy and communicating with mission operators.”
According to NASA, Earth’s distance from the moon is about 239,000 miles and varies depending on the moon’s position.