Update (19 July 2023):
Another video is currently being shared that shows the separation of a rover from a rocket and its subsequent journey towards the lunar surface of the moon. It is claimed that the visuals depict the Chandrayaan-3 lander’s successful arrival on the moon.
However, the visuals in question do not portray the separation of the Chandrayaan-3 lander/rover. A reverse image search of the viral video’s screenshots led to the discovery of a YouTube video from which the viral excerpt was extracted. The video was uploaded on 25 March 2022, and its description indicates that it pertains to the ‘Comet Rocket,’ a proposed super heavy-lift launch vehicle (HLLV) designed for NASA’s First Lunar Outpost Program (FLO) during the 1992-1993 Space Exploration Initiative.
This suggests that the viral video is, in fact, a computer-generated animation depicting NASA’s Comet Rocket. It should be noted that this YouTube channel contains several similar videos depicting rocket launches. In contrast, as per ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), Chandrayaan-3 is expected to enter the moon’s orbit approximately a month after its launch and subsequently land its lander and rover on the moon’s surface on 23 August 2023.
Published (18 July 2023):
Following the ISRO’s recent launch of Chandrayaan-3 on 14 July 2023, different sets of visuals (here & here) seemingly depicting a rocket launch captured from an airplane are being shared widely. These visuals are being claimed to showcase the launch of Chandrayaan-3, with assertions that a passenger captured them while traveling onboard a flight. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Visuals showcasing the launch of Chandrayaan-3, captured by a passenger traveling onboard a flight.
Fact: While one of the videos reportedly shows the launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral in November 2022, the other video depicts the launch of an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral in May 2021. It is also true that some passengers travelling in a Chennai to Dhaka flight captured the launch of Chandrayaan-3. However, the viral visuals are not related to Chandrayaan-3. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
After the ISRO’s recent launch of Chandrayaan-3 on 14 July 2023, Twitter users swiftly shared visuals purporting to be the Chandrayaan-3 launch taken from a flight. Notably, IndiGo Airlines released visuals of the Chandrayaan launch, captured by one of their passengers named Mr. Ponraj during a Chennai to Dhaka flight. These visuals gained significant traction on social media platforms, leading various news agencies to report on their viral spread (here & here).
However, the visuals disseminated through other viral posts on social media are old and are not related to the recent Chandrayaan-3 launch.
The visuals in question, which are old, reportedly depict the launch of a rocket by Space X from Cape Canaveral in Florida back in November 2022. A reverse image search conducted on the screenshots from this viral video led us to a couple of news reports published in December 2022, which featured the same visuals (here & here).
According to these reports, TikTok user @chefpinkpr a flight attendant who was working during the plane journey, captured these viral visuals. Sharing these visuals on TikTok, the user wrote “My plane flew by Cape Canaveral and caught the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch!”.
However, the date of launch is unclear as a Twitter user shared similar visuals captured from another angle in November 2022. He shared these visuals claiming to depict the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 over Cape Canaveral. A further search yielded reports of the launch of Space X Falcon 9 over Cape Canaveral, carrying Intelsat’s Galaxy 31 and Galaxy 32 satellites in the month of November 2022 (here & here).
While we were unable to independently confirm if these viral visuals are related to the Space X Falcon 9 rocket launch, the fact that these visuals are available on the internet much before the Chandrayaan-3 launch suggests that they are not associated with the recent Chandrayaan-3 launch.
The visuals in question, which are old, portray the launch of an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on 18 May 2021, carrying a satellite. Performing a reverse image search on the screenshots from the viral video led us to several news reports that also featured these same visuals (here & here).
10 Tampa Bay, which describes itself as an affiliate of CBS reported that the video was shot by photographer Andy Lin and showed the launch of rocket Atlas V, while traveling The Delta flight was traveling from New York to Cancun.
The satellite view of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station provides further confirmation that the viral video showcases a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, not Sriharikota. Although we were unable to independently verify which rocket launch the viral visuals depict, the fact that these visuals are widely available on the internet much before the Chandrayaan-3 launch strongly indicates that they are unrelated to the recent launch.
To sum it up, old and unrelated visuals are being shared as the launch of Chandrayaan-3 captured from a flight.