Oh, Deer: NASA Rocket Gets Photobombed by Hungry Animals

This is what happens when you put your launchpad near a wildlife refuge.
More
NASA/Bill Ingalls

Yesterday afternoon, at 1:07 pm Eastern Standard Time, the Antares Rocket launched from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, bound for the International Space Station. The rocket, developed by Orbital Sciences, will deliver science experiments, supplies, and even some children's books to the orbiting lab via the commercial firm's Cygnus spacecraft.

Before it blasted off, though, the rocket was simply an extra-tall feature of the weird-and-wacky ecosystem that is Wallops Island. On Wednesday, as people made the final preparations for Antares to streak into the sky, NASA photographer Bill Ingalls got a shot of some curious onlookers: three white-tailed deer.

The trio, as pictured, seem wonderfully unimpressed by their space-bound surroundings; they're simply grazing on the grass that surrounds the launch pad. And don't worry about their safety: As another picture proves, the deer, just after Ingalls got his shot, scurried away.

Nor is this the first time that animals have photobombed a rocket. This September, the launch of NASA's Minotaur V (the rocket that would help deliver the agency's LADEE craft to the moon) saw the launch of "rocket frog," the amphibious almost-astronaut that was shot off the ground by the force of the Minotaur's ignition. The Antares deer, fortunately for all but the frog, had better luck.

Via Isabel Lara

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In