Once in lunar orbit it will examine the structure and composition of the moon's tenuous atmosphere and determine what role dust plays in the lunar environment.
While some have questioned whether the four-legged shadow seen leaping in the photo is just a coincidental lineup of debris, amphibian experts are sure it is real.
"Not being an inanimate object like the other particles flying around, it's body is contorted," said herpetologist Raymond Saumure of WildFauna in Las Vegas, Nevada, vouching for the unfortunate frog.
"That is why portions are in different planes of focus, and the two front limbs do not appear to line up."
Photograph courtesy Chris Perry, NASA
Island of Stars
From a vantage point not possible from Earth, this artist's concept of our home galaxy shows the Milky Way as seen edge-on from deep space.
While the true spiral structure of the Milky Way is difficult to discern, astronomers believe it is an island of some 200 billion suns that stretches perhaps 100,000 light years across.
Illustration courtesy M. Kornmesser and R. Hurt, Caltech/ESO/NASA
A giant parachute signals the safe landing of a Russian and American astronaut aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on a return trip to Earth from the International Space Station on September 11.
Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA wrapped up their five-and-half month mission aboard the football field-sized orbiting laboratory with the successful return landing.
Photograph courtesy Bill Ingalls, NASA
Flock of Cosmic Birds
In what looks like a flock of cosmic birds caught in mid-flight, a newly released image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals a dwarf galaxy 11 million light years from Earth.
Located in the constellation Cetus, the whale, the puny galaxy dubbed ESO 540-31, is home to only a few hundred million stars—much smaller than the hundreds of billions of suns found in large spiral galaxies such as our own Milky Way.
Image courtesy Luca Limatola and ESA/NASA
Swirls and Ripples
A newly released image from the International Space Station captures clouds forming complex ripples and swirls around Guadalupe Island in the Pacific Ocean on August 24.
A steep volcanic Island some 150 miles off the coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, Guadalupe offer ideal conditions for swirly atmospheric eddies called 'vortex streets' to form in its vicinity.
Photograph courtesy NASA
Located some 2.2 billion light years from Earth in the constellation Virgo, a massive cluster of galaxies known as Abell 1689, resembles a swarm of bees in this image snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Hubble stared at one small patch of sky for over 34 hours to capture the hundreds of galaxies seen in this image that make up the distant cluster.
Image courtesy J. Blakeslee and H. Ford, DAO/JHU/STScI/AURA/ESA/NASA