Animated video of Apollo 11 model shared to show Chandrayaan-3 landing on the moon

By: Rajini KG
August 25 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Animated video of Apollo 11 model shared to show Chandrayaan-3 landing on the moon


The Verdict False

The viral video is an old animation video showing a simulation of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.

Claim ID 5dc3a78c


After India's third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 landed on the moon on the evening of August 23, several old and unrelated videos have been linked to the spacecraft's voyage and Indian Space Research Organisation's historic achievement. Journalist Shobhna Yadav, who works with Hindi news channel Zee News, on Thursday posted a video (archive here) on X (formerly Twitter) with the text, "#Chandrayaan3Landing #NASA Chandrayaan's landing released by NASA (originally in Hindi)." The video, which depicts a space module hovering over the moon before the touchdown, is going viral online and has also been shared on WhatsApp with the claim that it shows Chandryaan-3's landing on the lunar surface. 

Screengrab of viral posts (Source: X/@ShobhnaYadava,बीरेंद्र गुप्ता फौजी)

However, it is an animated video that shows a model of the Apollo 11 moon mission.

In fact

Through a reverse image search, we found the now-viral video posted as a YouTube short by 'Hazegrayart' on July 20. The clip was captioned, "Apollo 11 Moon Landing." Apollo 11, an American spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon, was launched by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on July 16, 1969. The mission comprised three astronauts — Neil Armstrong, Edwin Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Launched from Cape Kennedy in Florida, the spacecraft returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. The description of the clip on YouTube mentioned similar details of the first crewed mission to the moon.

Comparison of the viral clip and the YouTube short (Source: X/@ShobhnaYadava, YouTube/@Hazegrayart)

We also found an extended version of the video on the same YouTube channel. Posted on June 8, 2021, the 4-minute-long video was titled, "The Apollo 11 Moon Landing: A Historic Moment in Space Exploration." The viral video is a short clip taken from this longer YouTube video. Around the 0:45 timestamp, we could spot the viral clip of the space module hovering over the moon, and the audio also matches the viral video. We also found the video on NASA Spaceflight Forum, an independent website dedicated to space exploration. The video was posted on June 8, 2021, on the website, which mentioned that it showed a real-time simulation of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

The YouTube channel 'Hazegrayart' and the user's social media accounts had shared several similar animated videos of spacecraft/spaceflights. On August 16, the online magazine 'Auto Evolution' cited Hazegrayart's work on China's Space Station and credited 'Hazegrayart' as a "space tech animation specialist." The online magazine, which is dedicated to all kinds of vessels and vehicles, has also cited many other creations by 'Hazegrayart.' This indicates that the viral clip is an animated video created by 'Hazegrayart.' Logically Facts reach out to 'Haegrayart' for a response, and this story will be updated if and when we get a reply.

Additionally, the voiceover that plays in the background of the viral video is, in fact, from a BBC World Service video, which was uploaded on its YouTube channel on February 17, 2020. Around the 10:30 timestamp, we can hear the exact audio as heard in the viral clip. The YouTube video by BBC World Service was titled, "Apollo 11: The final 13 minutes to the Moon - BBC World Service, 13 Minutes to the Moon podcast." This confirms the audio is related to the Apollo 11 mission.

Moreover, the module in the viral clip looks very different from the depictions of Chaadryan-3's lander Vikram. During the countdown for Chandrayaan-3's landing on the moon's south pole, ISRO had released the animated visuals of the Vikram lander module. The lander has golden panels and a spherical structure on top, unlike the module in the viral video, which appears gray and red and has a flat top. Images of Vikram lander can also be accessed on ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 brochure and the official site. It differs significantly in appearance from the module seen in the viral video.

Comparison of the module from the viral video and depeictions of Chandrayaan-3's Vikram lander by ISRO (Source: X/@ShobhnaYadava, ISRO)

All the aforementioned evidence establishes that the viral clip is an animation video. The claim that the clip was released by NASA is also not true. The U.S. space agency had shared a message on X congratulating ISRO on its feat but had not released any visual of the latter’s moon mission.

The verdict

An old animation video showing a simulation of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission has been falsely shared as footage of Chandrayaan-3 landing on the lunar surface.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before