By: Annet Preethi Furtado
August 28 2023
This video is unrelated to the Luna-25's crash and dates back to at least February 2022.
In August 2023, Russian space agency Roscosmos launched Luna 25, a lunar lander mission designed to land on the moon's southern polar region. On August 19, reports emerged that Roscosmos had lost communication with Luna 25. Subsequently, on August 20, Roscosmos officially reported that Luna 25 had crashed on the lunar surface.
What's the claim?
Against this backdrop, a 14-second video has gone viral on X (formerly Twitter), claiming to depict real-time footage of the Luna-25 spacecraft crashing into the moon. In this viral video, a cylindrical object falls onto a textured grey terrain, seemingly the lunar surface, and detonates.
However, this video is unrelated to the Luna-25 spacecraft's crash. Instead, it dates back to at least February 2022 and is reportedly an artist's animation of a rocket booster colliding with the moon, predating the Luna-25 spacecraft launch. The archives can be found here and here.
The video is being shared online to claim that it shows actual footage of Luna-25 crashing on the moon. (Source: X/@TeamMangoNation/ @ApexNewsIndia/ Altered by Logically Facts)
What's the truth?
None of the news reports regarding the Luna-25 spacecraft crash featured the viral video, and only images of the moon transmitted by the spacecraft have been made public. Even the official statement released by the Russian space agency did not include any video content.
Upon a reverse image search on keyframes of the viral video, we found two reports published in 2022 carrying the video. An article dated March 3, 2022, published by Sci-Tech Daily, included the viral video and mentioned that it was an artist's animation depicting a rocket booster hitting the moon. The article was titled "A Rocket Is Going To Crash Into the Moon Friday – NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Will Get an Up-Close View of the Smoldering Crater."
The videos published by Sci-Tech Daily and The European Times in 2022. (Source: Screenshot/Sci-Tech Daily/European Times/Altered by Logically Facts)
eatured an identical description: "Artist's animation of a rocket booster crashing into the moon." This article was titled "NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Spots Mystery Rocket Impact Site on Moon,"
We also found the viral video on the stock photo platform Alamy. The creation was attributed to 'BlackBoxGuild.' The video has been available on Alamy since February 3, 2022, and the video caption was the same as mentioned by The European Times and Sci-Tech Daily.
Screengrab from the video uploaded on Alamy with credits to Blackboxguild. (Source: Alamy/Altered by Logically Facts)
In addition, we also found the same video in an Adobe Stock compilation. This video was also attributed to 'BlackBoxGuild.' The video description read, "Second Stage Rocket Booster Crashing into the Moon and Exploding - Close Shot."
Screengrab from the Adobe Stock compilation with credits to Blackboxguild. (Source: Adobe Stock/Altered by Logically Facts)
Logically Facts has reached out to BlackBoxGuild for a comment, and this fact-check will be updated if and when we receive a response.
While we could not independently confirm whether the video depicts an artist's interpretation of a rocket impacting the moon's surface, we can confirm that the video is old and predates the Luna-25 launch.
An old and unrelated video, predating the Luna-25 launch, is being shared on social media, claiming it shows the crash landing of the Russian spacecraft on the moon's surface. The origins of the viral video can be traced back to at least February 3, 2022.