By sheer luck, NASA's camera captured this tiny frog catching major air and riding exhaust during the launch of its LADEE spacecraft last Friday. This very close encounter with the space agency's rockets has turned this tiny, anonymous amphibian into a hero.
"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 said on its official Instagram, noting that it's fully possible that this frog could have given his life for science. "The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain." Clearly, if you have any information regarding the frog, please contact us (or NASA.)
Since the picture of Space Frog was released last night, Space Frog has captured the imagination of America and has become a figure in America's social media platforms. The question people want answered is: did he or she die during the launch? Judging from our short history of animals vs. space rockets, the space rocket has always won.
Space Frog isn't the only animal who has hitched a ride on a rocket. That honor goes to a pair of Space Bats. We don't have a picture of Space Bat I, but he or she landed on a tank during the 1998 Columbia shuttle launch, NASA said. Space Bat II was more recognizable when he or she clung to the side of space shuttle Discovery during a 2009 launch (right). Unfortunately, Space Bat II never got to see its space dreams realized. "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 reported.
And, well, NASA doesn't even want to talk about Space Bird: