English, Fake News

The photo of a crescent Earth seen from the Moon was captured by the Apollo 17 spacecraft, not the Orion


A photograph of the crescent Earth rising over the horizon of the Moon is doing the rounds on social media. It is being claimed that this photograph was taken from NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Let’s fact-check this claim through this article.

Claim: This photograph was taken by NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

Fact: This photograph was actually taken from the Apollo 17 spacecraft in 1972 when it was in the Lunar Orbit. Hence, the claim made in the post is Misleading.

We performed a reverse image search online to learn more about the viral photo. This search led us to NASA’s website, according to which this photo was taken during the Apollo 17 mission

The caption for this photo reads, ‘The crescent Earth rises above the lunar horizon in this spectacular photograph taken from the Apollo 17 spacecraft in lunar orbit during the final lunar landing mission in the Apollo program.’

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is an “exploration vehicle” which will be used for deep space travel. This is being used in the Artemis mission, which is aimed at setting a base camp on the Moon’s surface to enable astronauts to perform scientific experiments. 

In 2022, Orion was launched into space on the Space Launch System (SLS) on 16 November 2022. It took a photo of the crescent Earth while looping around the Moon (here, here, and here). Instead of this photo, the viral post labels a photo taken during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 as a photo taken from the Orion spacecraft.

To sum up, a photo of the crescent Earth taken during the Apollo 17 mission is being falsely shared as one taken from the Orion spacecraft during the Artemis-1 Mission.


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