ATLANTIC — A photograph that inadvertently captured a frog being lofted airborne during the launch of a spacecraft from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore has become an Internet sensation.
The photo was captured by one of NASA’s remote cameras during the Sept. 6 nighttime launch of the agency’s LADEE spacecraft from Pad 0B at Wallops.
The agency said the frog is real and was captured in a single frame.
“The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain,” the agency wrote in a caption accompanying the posting of the picture on the Internet.
After NASA posted the picture, numerous other Internet sites began distributing it.
NASA’s Wallops facility is part of the Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge, which was created on July 10, 1975, and is comprised of thousands of acres of mainly salt marsh and woodlands.
LADEE is a robotic research mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky.