Old video of ISRO chief dancing wrongly shared to show celebrations after Chandrayaan-3’s landing

By: Umme Kulsum
August 25 2023

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Old video of ISRO chief dancing wrongly shared to show celebrations after Chandrayaan-3’s landing


The Verdict False

This video was recorded during an event organized by ISRO in Bengaluru in July. It is unrelated to the Chandrayaan-3’s landing on the moon.

Claim ID e29469d4


Following the successful landing of India's third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 on the moon Wednesday evening, a video of ISRO chief S Somanath is circulating on social media with claims that it shows him dancing in celebration of the space agency's latest achievement. The video is now viral, with some posts sharing it generating millions of views on X (formerly Twitter). Several users shared the captions praising the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) and his team for their devotion and hard work, thanks to which India became the first nation to land uncharted territory at the moon's south pole.

Screengrab of an online post with the claim  (Source: X/@aestheticayush6)

However, the viral video is old and was filmed before Chandrayaan-3's successful landing.

In fact 

Logically Facts found that the video was first shared by X user Sidharth MP (@sdhrthmp), who identified himself as a journalist with Wion, an Indian English-language news channel. He shared the video with the caption, "Dr. S. Somanath & team #isro... Celebrate and dance your hearts out tonight. How many ppl in the world have the power & knowledge to make 1.4+bn hearts swell with pride & joy!"

However, as the video began to go viral, he posted a comment as a reply, saying that the video was not recent. "Pls note: This is a video from earlier this year, and I had formal access to this entire event, and that's how I had filmed it. This video is not from tonight!." According to his X profile, Sidharth's primary areas of reporting involve ISRO, defense, technology, startups, features, and academia. 

Logically Facts contacted Sidharth MP for more information about the viral video, and he told us that he had captured the video in the "1st week of July 2023." 

Speaking to news agency PTI, he also said, "This (video) is from an event in July (last month) in Bengaluru. It was the G20 space economy leaders meeting cultural night event."

According to ISRO's official website, under India's G20 Presidency, the fourth edition of the Space Economy Leaders Meeting (SELM) was held in Bengaluru on July 6. The website added ISRO chief S Somanath had attended this meeting with "senior representatives from space agencies of 18 G20 countries, 8 invited countries, and 1 international organisation," the website added. The website also noted that to "conclude the day's events, a delightful cultural program, and a gala dinner were organised, showcasing the rich heritage and hospitality of India." 

A comparison of S Somanath’s attire on the day of Chandrayaan-3's successful landing and his attire in the viral video (Source: YouTube/ISRO, X/@aestheticayush6/Altered by Logically Facts)

It should also be noted that when the ISRO chief addressed the media after Chandrayaan-3 successfully made a soft landing on the lunar surface, Somanath wore a dark-colored vest and not a blazer, as seen in the viral video.

The verdict

The video of ISRO chief S Somanath dancing is not recent and is from an ISRO-G20 event that was organized in July. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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