An old video filmed from an aircraft showing a rocket being launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in United States has surfaced with claims falsely linking it to the Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission.
BOOM found that the video was shot from an aircraft flying over the Launchpad 39A located near the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, US, which is administrated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its third lunar mission to explore the Moon’s surface from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 2.35 pm IST on July 14. This lunar mission’s objective is to put a lander and a rover on the Moon and it is a successor of the previously failed mission Chandrayaan-2 in 2019. Chandrayaan-3 will be responsible for providing information on the Moon’s surface to ISRO’s mission control.
The video is circulating with the caption, "Chandrayaan3 launching video! विंडो सीट से यात्री ने देखा चंद्रयान का ऐसा सीन।" (Translation: Passenger from an aircraft's window seat saw this spectacular scene of the Chandrayaan launch). Click for an archive here.
The same video is also circulating with a caption misleadingly claiming that it was shot from an IndiGo flight enroute Dhaka , Bangladesh from Chennai, on July 14. BOOM received the video on its helpline number for verification. Below is a screenshot of the same.
BOOM observed the viral video and was able to ascertain that it was not shot from the IndiGo aircraft, as claimed in the captions.
We ran a reverse image search on few of the keyframes from the video and was directed to a news article by the Independent published in December, 2022
According to the headline for the article, passengers saw a SpaceX rocket launch from a plane window; the video was uploaded by a crew member onboard the incredible moment and shared it on TikTok. An excerpt from the article reads, "Passengers on a plane flying past Cape Canaveral in Florida on Friday unwittingly got a front row seat to the launch of a SpaceX rocket. TikTok user @chefpinkpr is a flight attendant who was working during the plane journey, and shared a video of the moment. The TikToker – who is called Nelito, usually posts cooking content – wrote across the TikTok video: “My plane flew by Cape Canaveral and caught the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch!”
The same video was also shared by NDTV stating that it showed moments of a Space-X Falcon launch. The link of the article can be seen here
Furthermore, the audio of the viral clip includes multiple passengers speaking English in what sounds like an American accent. Even pilot’s announcement about the liftoff is heavily accented, strongly indicating the video was not shot in India.
BOOM was then able to geolocate the launching area as Launchpad 39A located near the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, US, which is administrated by the NASA. We then compared the satellite imagery from Google Maps and the social media post and found that both the launching areas are same. You can see the location link of the launchpad here
BOOM has reached out to Kennedy Space Center and Space X who are responsible for space missions in the area. The article will be updated when we get a response. While BOOM was not able to independently verify when the video was recorded however, it is certain that this video was shot much before the launch of Chandrayaan-3.
Footage shot from IndiGo aircraft
Incidentally, during the Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission’s liftoff, a video shot from an IndiGo aircraft has become viral; the same was shared by the official pages of IndiGo on social media platforms.
According to the caption of the video, it was shot from an IndiGo aircraft enroute Dhaka from Chennai by a passenger named Mr. Ponraj. The caption reads, "A ticket to the moon, quite literally. Mr. Ponraj beautifully captured the exclusive view of the Chandrayaan 3 during our #Chennai to #Dhaka flight. #goIndiGo #Chandrayaan3 #Chandrayaan3launch #Chandrayaan3mission."