Dragonfly, Meet Dragon: Timely Photo Juxtaposes Insect with SpaceX Rocket

NASA photographer Bill Ingalls spotted a dragonfly near SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft atop a Falcon 9 rocket at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday (June 1). (Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA)

A little dragonfly paid a visit to the much larger Dragon spacecraft at Cape Canaveral Thursday (June 1), just hours before SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launch was scrubbed due to inclement weather.

For the first time, SpaceX is launching a used Dragon spacecraft, sending the same capsule into space for its second delivery to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, titled CRS-11, is now slated to launch on Saturday (June 3) at 5:07 p.m. EDT (2107 GMT). You can watch live coverage of the launch here.

Having stumbled upon an incredibly poetic photo opportunity Thursday morning, NASA photographer Bill Ingalls snapped this shot of a male Marl Pennant dragonfly posing in front of Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The dragonfly is probably completely oblivious to the impending launch, which will soon rattle its world as sonic shock waves propagate for miles. And it definitely has no idea that it shares a name with the spacecraft that is perched on top of the 230-foot (70 meters) rocket. But with that picture-perfect pose atop a vertical twig, it certainly looks like the insect is being a little copycat.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.