In this clip Joe Rogan says there is faked footage from the Russians of the Yuri Gargarin's space flight. He uses this as an example of "prior-work" for faking the Apollo space landing. I'm not sure which footage he's talking about, but has any footage of the Gargarin space flight been shown to be fake?

Faked footage from the Russians, 100%; there's a precedent. The footage of Yuri Gargarin when he's circling Earth for the first time when he was in a rocket as the first guy in space. It's fake as fuck dude. He's inside this tiny little compartment and all of a sudden they have room for a camera? [...] You see a light source this way, and a light source that way. He's got dueling shadows behind him because they've got lights set up in there because they're filming him inside this capsule. No. He's shot up into space. He really did do it, but they couldn't fit a god damn camera inside this tiny little capsule. There is no room so they just faked it after the fact.

I am guessing Joe Rogan talking about this footage?, seems to fit with his video he's watching.

  • 2
    You might try asking a similar question at space.se, "What cameras and light were in Gargarin's capsule?"
    – user36688
    Jun 13, 2018 at 15:35
  • 3
    Interesting that he doesn't seem to doubt that Gagarin went into orbit, but he does doubt that NASA went to the moon.
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 13, 2018 at 15:37
  • The shadows are evidence?? My take on the shadows is there are two light sources--one small, one quite large. The small one is brighter. The first thing that comes to mind is the Sun and the Earth. He's in low orbit, he's going to get lots of light from Earth when he's on the day side. Jun 15, 2018 at 5:45

2 Answers 2


I could not (yet) find details of the camera affixed inside Gagarin's capsule, but only a few months later, Gherman Titov, carried a mobile 35mm camera (depicted below) in the Vostok 2 flight:

Titov used a 35-mm Konvas movie camera to shoot scenes out the window of his Vostok capsule. Some of the photos appear in an exhibit that opened at Moscow’s FotoSoyuz gallery this week, titled “50 Years of Space Photos.”

enter image description here

The camera is reasonably small, as you can see (even though here it's pictured on earth; the captions goes "Titov practices with a Konvas movie camera (Photo: FotoSoyuz)")

All Vostok space flights used the same reentry capsule, Vostok SA (Spuskaemiy apparat).

A bit of Titov's footage can be seen on youtube... and this includes footage of the Earth clearly take with some camera that's not unlikely to have been handheld, and also shows Titov holding the mobile camera in his suit, the latter images presumably taken by a fixed camera on board:

enter image description here

Also, below is an archival photo with people standing right next to a Vostok capsule (this is the Vostok-6 flight). (There's also archival footage of the same scene.) The argument that a camera would not fit inside (even alongside a human) is clearly silly without any calculation.

enter image description here

And perhaps an even more convincing evidence is that US agencies (CIA and later NSA) decoded the Soviet space TV transmissions nearly in real-time. From a declassified 1964 US document, "Snooping On Space Pictures":

Sputniks 5 and 6, launched respectively on 19 August and 1 December 1960, both transmitted signals on 83 megacycles which were initially reported by field Elint operators and later confirmed through detailed analysis to be video transmissions. Soviet announcements that the dog passengers on these satellites were being watched while in orbit by means of a "radio-television" system spurred on analytical efforts to demodulate this new type of signal. And before long CIA technical analysts did succeed in producing pictures from Sputnik 6's recorded signals. (See Figure 2.) These substantiated the Soviet claim of having developed a special television transmission system which could provide instantaneous reporting on the behavior of animal or human passengers aboard a Soviet spacecraft.

More important to intelligence in early 1961, however, was the establishment of a capability to determine as soon after launch as possible whether the Soviets had successfully orbited the first man in space, a feat they were expected to attempt at any moment. The National Security Agency undertook to design and produce special field collection equipment that would present oscilloscope pictures while the transmission was being received. Several such sets were produced on a priority basis, and the first two were sent to Elint sites in Alaska and Hawaii. Demodulation of video transmissions from Sputnik 9 (9 March 1961) and Sputnik 10 (25 March 1961) substantiated the Soviet announcements that each of these single-orbit flights carried a dog passenger. Then on 12 April 1961 Sputnik 11 was launched, and a 83-megacycle transmissions were detected twenty minutes later as the spacecraft passed over Alaska. Only 58 minutes after launch NSA reported that reliable real-time readout of the signals clearly showed a man and showed him moving. Thus before Gagarin had completed his historic 108-minute flight, intelligence components had technical confirmation that a Soviet cosmonaut was in orbit and that he was alive (See Figure 3).

enter image description here

Note that these "Sputnik" designations were due in no small part to the fact that the "Vostok" name was kept secret by the Soviets at the time.

  • The NSA confirmation did it for me. thanks Jun 13, 2018 at 19:04
  • @Oddthinking: The best web source about the TV cameras used seems to be mentallandscape.com/V_Cameras.htm which is partly corroborated by the document I quoted and by another one nsa.gov/news-features/declassified-documents/tech-journals/…; the latter is unfortunately heavily redacted. Jun 13, 2018 at 19:21
  • Good point about the Americans snooping in. Basically, the same supporting arguments can used here as in the case of the Moon landings. If the Moon landings were fake, the Soviets would have had all the incentives to contest it. and similarly, if Gagarin's flight was faked, the Americans would have had all the incentives to prove it fake.
    – vsz
    Oct 20, 2020 at 14:55

I could not find any other notable mention about faked footage, and Joe Rogan's claim that the capsule was too small to fit a camera is simply ridiculous.

Faked footage: A quick search of "Vostok 1 faked footage" only results in the typical 'everything about it is a hoax' conspiracy claims, rather than anything specifically focused on faked footage during the flight.

Unless Rogan actually states which footage he believes is fake, I don't think this claim can be fully addressed. Below is a frame of the video purportedly televised to flight command from the capsule:

Image of Yuri Gagarin in capsule

Camera inside the capsule: Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the equipment specs for the Vostok 3KA capsule Gagarin was in so I can't say for sure what exactly was in the capsule with him. However, I can say that Rogan is severely underestimating the size of the capsule he was in:

Vostok 3KA spacious interior, unfortunately no cup holders

The diameter of the capsule was 2.3 meters, or roughly 5 cubic meters of space. Even full of the control, navigation, monitoring, and other equipment, it doesn't seem unreasonable that they would have been able squeeze a simple handheld video camera into the capsule.

Addition: After further searching, I still cannot find any solid source on what camera system was used in the original Vostok mission. However, the second mission featured video taken by cosmonaut Gherman Titov using this handheld camera, and the mission was performed using the same capsule design as Gagarin's mission.

Several sites mention a "Seliger-Tral-D" slow-scan TV system as the system used in the Vostok missions, however none of these sites give any real evidence and most state the claim in almost the same few sentences. This suggests a source of the claim that these sites are repeating, however I've been unable to find it.

  • It would be good to find more positive evidence of the specific cameras used on Vostok 1. I've found several sources apparently quoting Wikipedia suggesting it was a Seliger-Tral-D, but (perhaps unsurprisingly) I haven't fund much confirming this detail.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 13, 2018 at 16:47
  • @Oddthinking: I added some more camera info. There are several sites suggesting the Seliger-Tral-D in a very similar way, so that claim definitely has some original source but no confirmations.
    – Giter
    Jun 13, 2018 at 17:17

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