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Frog Caught in Midair as NASA’s LADEE Spacecraft Launches [PHOTO & VIDEO]

Update Date: Sep 15, 2013 12:15 PM EDT

NASA launched its latest moon orbiter last week and the internet is buzzing about a peculiar event that happened that same day. A frog was captured photobombing the launch of NASA's LADDEE spacecraft.

Late last Friday, September 6, the 70-foot (21-meter) high Minotaur V rocket carrying NASA's car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) launched off. According to NASA's Instagram account, photographer Chris Perry captured the amphibian's "one giant leap" in a single frame by a still camera on a sound trigger.

The frog was probably enjoying a water pool that NASA scientists had put on the launchpad to protect the pad from damage, Universe Today reported.

As the LADEE spacecraft lifted off, the amphibian was photographed shooting upward in a 2552 degrees F. steam cloud.

"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 in a statement.

"The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain," it added.

Some readers online questioned the validity of the photo and suggest perhaps some Photoshop is involved, but a NASA representative confirmed that the photo is real and was not altered in any way.

According to the National Geographic, herpetologist David Green of McGill University in Montreal examined the photos and confirm that it is in fact a frog and is in a typical stance of plummeting amphibians seen in nature.

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