The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: A video was shared on Douyin together with a claim that a poster of Bruce Lee appears to have been hung in the Apollo 11 spacecraf.
- HKBU FactCheck Service found that the man in the video was American astronaut Neil Alden Armstrong. In the original photo published by NASA, there was no movie poster behind him.
- The poster in the Douyin video was found to be similar to that of the movie “The Way of the Dragon,” which was released in 1972. Apollo 11 was launched on July 16, 1969, three years before the movie was released.
- Our ruling: Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
A Douyin video published Sept. 19, 2021, purports to show a man dressed like an astronaut sitting in the cabin with a blurry picture in the background. The caption translates as, “A poster of Bruce Lee appears to have been hung in the Apollo 11 spacecraft.” The simplified Chinese subtitle superimposed in the footage translates as, “A netizen’s comment: Awesome! The first man of Chinese descent flying into space!”
As of the issuance of this report, the post had received 324 comments and 2981 likes or reactions.
A reverse image search found the man in the video to be American astronaut Neil Alden Armstrong. According to an article published by NASA, the photo in the video was taken in 1969 in the cabin of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module “Eagle” to document the arrival of the first human being on the moon. The original photo, provided by NASA, was taken by another Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, and it clear shows that there was no movie poster behind Armstrong.
HKBU FactCheck Service ran a keyword search for posters of movies starring Lee and found that the poster discussed in the claim is similar to that of “The Way of the Dragon.” Both posters show a man in a white tank top lifting his left forearm and have a black, bold title, so it is almost certain that the poster in the video is that of the movie “The Way of the Dragon.” According to Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and Hong Kong Film Archive, the movie was released in 1972. Apollo 11 was launched on July 16, 1969, three years before the release date of the movie. Therefore, it is impossible that the poster was aboard Apollo 11.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.