Fact Check: Does This Video Show Debris of Chinese Rocket Crashing into The Indian Ocean? No, Here’s the Truth…

False International

A rocket, carrying a Chinese space station section into the orbit, was launched on 29 April. Ending days of speculation, on 9th May it was reported that the remains of the rocket had crashed into the Indian Ocean as seen here.

In this context, a short video clip of Space X Prototype which crashed in February 2021 was shared by social media users claiming it to be the scenes of space debris of the Chinese rocket falling into the Indian Ocean. Let’s check the narrative being shared with the video and the reality.

Social Media Claims:

Facebook user Veena Jayakodi posted a short video clip of what seemed like parts of a rocket crashing down into a sea and captioned it as “Chinese rocket dispose are Indian ocean” as seen below. 

Facebook | Archived

The 18 second video clip indicated that these were the remains of the Chinese rocket, the Long March 5B, which was launched in late April and was expected to crash somewhere into the Indian Ocean.

Same clip was shared by a few other Facebook users as well with similar narratives as seen below.

A Sinhala website also had also reported this video with claiming to be scenes related to Chinese Rocket as seen below. However, the content had later been removed.

Fact Check 

We did a Reverse Image Search using the frames extracted from the viral video claiming to be the remains of Chinese rocket falling into the Indian Ocean. The search revealed that the scenes were taken from a footage in which Space X Prototype Mars Rocket had crashed during test flight in early February 2021.

Below is a video uploaded on 3rd of February 2021 titled “SpaceX Starship prototype SN9 exploded after a high-altitude flight test”, which exactly matched the scenes from the recent viral video.

We came across a longer version of a video from the same angle as well which can be seen here titled “SpaceX Starship SN9 Launch, Landing, Explosion & Viewer Reactions!”

There were several news reports about the incident as well and here is a CNN report which describes the incident as below.

SpaceX’s Starship SN9, an early prototype for a rocket the company hopes will carry the first humans to Mars, exploded on landing during a test flight. It’s the second test in a row for SpaceX that’s ended in a fiery crash”

Space Daily Facebook page had streamed a live video of the SpaceX Starship SN9 Test Flight, as seen below.

In a statement NASA administrator Sen. Bill Nelson had commented “Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations. It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris…” as seen here

Days leading up to the eventual landing of debris from the Long March 5B Chinese rocket, near the Maldives, there was much concern in Sri Lanka, as the country was also indicated inside the risk zone of the out of control Chinese rocket. 

Similar claims were shared in India as well and here is a fact check done by Factcrescendo Tamil

Conclusion 

Based on our investigation, Factcrescendo confirms that the viral video claiming to be debris from the Long March 5B Chinese rocket falling in the Indian Ocean near Maldives is miscaptioned.

While the Chinese Authorities have confirmed that the remains of the Chinese rocket fell in the Indian Ocean near Maldives, the footage shared on social media is related to an incident that happened a few months earlier. 

The video was taken when SpaceX Starship prototype SN9, an early prototype for a rocket which intends to carry the first humans to Mars, had exploded after a high-altitude flight test in February 2021.

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Title:Does This Video Show Debris of Chinese Rocket Crashing into The Indian Ocean? No, Here’s the Truth…

Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe 

Result: False

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