Frog Photobomb During NASA Launch

By: Erika Watts - September 12, 2013

One would think that after NASA launched LADEE on Saturday, most of the talk would be about the potential this exploratory mission has. While that’s true to a degree, the thing getting the bulk of the attention from the launch right now is a frog that was unfortunate enough to get a little too close to the rocket. The incident was captured on camera, making for one of the greatest photobombs of all time.

The photo below was posted on the NASA website with the caption, “A still camera on a sound trigger captured this intriguing photo of an airborne frog as NASA’s LADEE spacecraft lifts off from Pad 0B at 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. The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain.”


After the initial amusement, shock and (maybe) a little bit of sadness for the photobombing frog, many are wondering just how the frog got up that high. According to Universe Today, the rocket’s launch pad 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.”

Hopefully none of the frog’s other amphibian buddies were hanging around during the launch. Otherwise, they were certainly in for the shock of their lives. Check out some comments from Twitter users on the frog photobomb below.

Images via NASA/Chris Perry and YouTube

Erika Watts

About the Author

Erika WattsErika Watts is a former teacher, now stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for WebProNews. When she isn’t busy navigating parenthood and writing, she enjoys watching college sports and reading. Follow Erika on Twitter @erikawatts83, Pinterest or

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  • estelle whiddon

    Welcome to Florida! these green tree frogs are all over. I am glad to see one is now famous!

    • Dan-o

      The launch was in Virginia

  • Rocket Frog

    “One small step for a frog:
    One giant leap for rocket frogkind” –

  • clint

    Watching the launch live reminded me of the days as a kid watching rockets being launched carrying astronauts. I’ve been wanting to go visit Kennedy Space Center again. I went there in the early 1970’s back when astronauts were larger than life.