A Facebook user Nona Sharabidze, who often promotes pro-Kremlin disinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, made a publication in the social network where she questions successful moon landing of the US astronauts. The publication, where Nona Sharabidze calls Americans “swindlers”, includes a photograph which allegedly shows a dog in the footage depicting historical spaceflight of Apollo-11.

The first step of the American astronaut and his footprint on moon on 20 July 1969 was documented by a photograph. However, for over a half-century after that, conspiracy theorists continued to claim that Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon was in fact staged.

The footage of a “dog on the moon” has been disseminated probably since 2017. On 9 January 2023, American scientist Cliff Pickover posted that footage on Twitter and indicated Reddit social network as a source of video. However, Mr Pickover also added NASA’s original photograph to the publication.

In fact, dog is nowhere to be seen in the footage of human walking on the moon made as part of Apollo-11 spaceflight and uploaded at NASA’s official YouTube channel. Therefore, image of “dog on the moon” has nothing to do with Apollo-11.

According to the NASA’s website, this photograph (doctored version of which has gone viral in the social network) was taken during Apollo-17 spaceflight.

Of note is that Apollo-11 spaceflight and landing the first human – Neil Armstrong – on the moon is widely lauded as US victory over the USSR in terms of space exploration. More than 600 million people all across the world followed on TV and radio how Neil Armstrong and his crewmember Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

It was when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon for the first time when he uttered his most famous words: “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”


This article was produced as part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.