Old video from U.S. passed off as visuals of India's moon mission launch

By: Umme Kulsum
July 19 2023

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Old video from U.S. passed off as visuals of India's moon mission launch


The Verdict False

The video is from 2022 and shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Station. It has nothing to do with Chandrayaan-3.

Claim ID 7e3941fb


In its third moon mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on July 14 successfully launched the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, sending waves of jubilation across India. Since the spacecraft took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, an island in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, several videos purportedly showing the Chandrayaan-3 launch have gone viral on social media. In one such viral video, somebody captures a spacecraft ascending into the sky from an airplane. This video has been widely shared on Facebook and Twitter with the claim that it captures the Chandrayaan-3 launch from a Chennai-Dhaka IndiGo flight. 

Several Twitter users who shared the video wrote: “An Indigo flight was flying from Chennai to Dhaka. Coincidentally, it was passing over Sriharikota at the time of the launch of Chandrayan-3. The pilot announced that the passengers can be witness of the historic event, launch of Chandrayan-3.” Archived versions of such posts can be accessed here, here and here.

However, this video is unrelated to the recent launch of Chanrayaan-3 from Sriharikota.

In Fact

After running a reverse image search of the keyframes from the viral video, Logically Facts found that visuals similar to the viral video were shared by the British news outlet The Independent in a report published on December 16, 2022. The report was embedded with a tweet that showed a video of a spacecraft taking off. While this video seems to be taken from a different angle than the viral video, the launch pad and its surroundings are the same in both. According to the report, the video was recorded by a flight passenger while flying past Cape Canaveral in Florida during the launch of SpaceX Falcon 9.

We then looked up Cape Canaveral on Google Earth and discovered that the visuals in the viral video are from the Kennedy Space Center, Launch Complex 39A, in Florida, United States. The space center is adjacent to the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. 

We also searched for the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Google Earth, and found that the launch pad and the surroundings did not match the visuals in the viral video. This confirms the viral video is not of the Chandrayaan-3 launch.

On July 16, Indian airline IndiGo had posted a video on its official Twitter accounting stating that one of its passengers had captured footage of Chandrayaan-3's launch while traveling from Chennai to Dhaka. We also checked the images uploaded by the passenger, Ponraj (@aponraj1), on Twitter. However, neither the video uploaded shared by IndiGo nor the pictures match the viral video. Logically Facts has reached out to ISRO to confirm the veracity of the video shared by the IndiGo passenger. We will update the check once we have a response. 

The Verdict

An old video of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Florida is circulating online with the false narrative that the clip is from Indian and captures the launch of ISRO's Chandrayaan-3.

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