Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 6, 2022

Aldrin didn’t say the moon landing was a hoax

If Your Time is short

  • Buzz Aldrin didn’t admit the moon landing didn’t happen. 

Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969 joined fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong in landing on the moon, is regularly, and wrongly, accused of saying his historic space flight was a hoax. 

One iteration that has recently circulated online: a clip from a 2015 appearance Aldrin made at Oxford University. 

"Buzz admitting moon landing ‘didn’t happen,’" the Oct. 4 Instagram post says. In a video in the post, a woman in the audience asks Aldrin what the scariest moment of his journey was. 

"Scariest?" he says. "It didn’t happen."

The Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Aldrin, who is 92 now, participated in a question-and-answer session at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom in 2015. 

Featured Fact-check

He spoke for about an hour, and the moment in the Instagram post starts around the 30:15 mark of this video that the Oxford Union’s verified account posted on YouTube. 

It’s clear watching Aldrin’s full appearance that he wasn’t denying the moon landing happened. 

Rather, he appears to be saying that nothing scary happened. 

The talk in the video does touch on a fraught moment for Aldrin. Someone in the audience asks about the "circuit breaker," reminding Aldrin of when he and Armstrong, after their moonwalk, discovered a circuit breaker switch had broken off their lunar module. 

In his 2010 book, "Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon," Aldrin recalled that he "jolted a bit" when he saw the switch had broken, and that he "gulped hard" upon realizing that it had "snapped off from the engine-arm circuit breaker, the one vital breaker needed to send electrical power to the ascent engine that would lift Neil and me off the moon." 

Aldrin didn’t say the moon landing didn’t happen. We rate that claim False.


Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

Aldrin didn’t say the moon landing was a hoax

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up