English, Fake News

Unrelated visuals shared as Chandrayaan-3’s landing footage


Update (29 August 2023):

Another video, claiming to depict the visuals of Chandrayaan-3’s landing, is being widely circulated on social media. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.

Conducting a reverse image search on the keyframes extracted from the viral video led us to the original video posted on Blue Origin’s YouTube channel on 10 May 2019. This video illustrates an animated representation of the Blue Moon’s landing on the lunar surface. The Blue Moon comprises a range of lunar landers and their related infrastructure, designed to facilitate the transportation of humans and cargo to the Moon. This project is presently in progress under the leadership of a consortium led by Blue Origin.

Published (25 August 2023):

After Chandrayaan-3’s Lander Module, the Vikram Lander, successfully landed on the moon on 23 August 2023, and the Pragyan rover was deployed, a video showing a landing module flying across what appears to be a lunar surface before landing is being widely shared on social media, claiming to be from the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.

Claim: Visuals of the Vikram lander making soft landing on moon captured by NASA.

Fact: The viral video portrays an animated version of Apollo 11’s lunar module landing on the moon and does not show any real footage of Chandrayaan-3’s (Vikram Lander) soft landing on the moon captured by NASA. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

First, we searched for any officially released footage by NASA during the landing of Chandrayaan-3’s landing module but were unable to find any. Subsequently, we conducted a reverse image search using the keyframes extracted from the viral video. Our search revealed that the same video had been uploaded on YouTube on 08 June 2021, with the title “The Apollo 11 Moon Landing: A Historic Moment in Space Exploration.”

The Apollo 11 mission, launched on 16 July 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marked the first manned landing on the Moon. The mission included a command module named Columbia and a lunar module named Eagle, with a crew comprising Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. While the video’s uploader didn’t explicitly indicate its animated nature and representation, the inclusion of multiple camera angles and drone shots clearly suggests that the video portrays an animated rendition of Apollo 11’s lunar module landing. Furthermore, the video uploader had previously clarified that all of their videos are animated creations.

Additionally, ISRO has recently released the actual footage of the Vikram Lander’s landing and the subsequent rollout of the Pragyan rover. These visuals can be seen here and here.

To sum it up, the animated video depicting Apollo 11’s moon landing was shared as NASA’s footage of Chandrayaan-3’s soft landing on the moon.


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