Old visuals captured by International Space Station passed off as visuals from Chandrayaan 3

By: Vivek J
August 18 2023

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Old visuals captured by International Space Station passed off as visuals from Chandrayaan 3


The Verdict False

The video is not recent — it dates back to 2022 — and was not taken by Chandrayaan 3.

Claim ID facc16ab


India’s third mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 3, was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on July 14, 2023. This spacecraft is in the moon’s orbit at the time of writing and the Vikram Lander, which is separated from the main module today, will be attempting to make a soft landing on the moon’s south pole on August 23, 2023. 

Following the launch, a video of Earth from space has gone viral on social media platforms claiming to be captured by Chandrayaan 3. The caption of one such post on X, formerly Twitter, containing the video reads, “Amezing view #Chandrayaan3 #ISRO #isroindia #MOONLANDING #VikramLander @isro. [sic]” This implies that the visuals were captured by Chandrayaan 3.

However, this video is old and has been online for months before the launch of Chandrayaan 3. 

In fact 

Text at the end of the viral video, which appears at about 23 seconds into the video, attributes the visuals to the University of Iowa. The video credits read, “Som ET - Credit: University of Iowa, Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center (ISS067-E-357091-357756).”

Screengrab of the credits shown at the end of the video. (Source: X / @Badalka24453653)

This indicates that the video was probably recorded by the International Space Station (ISS) - the alphanumeric code at the end of the video suggests a connection to the ISS. On looking for this sequence, we came across the video on a YouTube channel called "Som ET", which describes itself as an "Artist, Song, Science & Tech" page. The video was uploaded on April 13, 2023. 

Screengrabs of Som ETs Facebook and YouTube “About” pages. (Source: YouTube/@Som ET, Facebook/Som ET)

We then conducted a reverse image search on the video’s keyframes, which led us to a video on The European Space Agency’s (ESA) website dated October 13, 2022. The description of this video reads, “Timelapse video made during ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s second mission to the International Space Station, "Minerva.”

Samantha shared this video on social media with the caption: “One last time, fly along with me! Farewell and, as always, thanks for all the fish!” 

Thus, it is evident that this video was captured by ESA astronaut Cristoforetti and was first shared in October 2022. This video has been online months before the launch of Chandrayaan 3 and is unrelated to the visuals from Chandrayaan 3.

On August 10, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) released two images captured by the Lander Imager (LI) camera and the Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera (LHVC), respectively. These images officially released by ISRO are visually different from the viral video.

The verdict

The viral video was captured by an astronaut in 2022 and the visuals were first shared online in October of the same year. The image of Earth captured by Chandrayaan 3 is visually different. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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