Fact Check: Did Canadian Musician and YouTuber Andrew Huang Go to Space?

Canadian musician Andrew Huang is trending on Google after the artist announced he had been launched into space.

In addition, people are searching for "Lumanautics," the name of the space-faring organization Huang claims is behind the launch.

On Twitter, users are making posts such as: "Excuse me is Andrew Huang in space? WHAT?"

And: "Wait did Andrew Huang actually go to f***ing space?"

The Claim

On March 18, Huang published a video on YouTube titled "Final song before I leave" in which many of the details of his alleged rocket launch to space are documented.

Huang starts the video by saying: "I have an opportunity to go to space, so I'm gonna do that. This is not a joke, I'm going to space."

The musician states that, before he goes, he will produce one more song in his music studio. Most of the video shows Huang putting this song together and explaining the music hardware behind the production.

The video then shows a montage of footage in which Huang is seen travelling to a space launch complex apparently run by a company called Lumanautics—the logo for which is painted on giant warehouses. Other clips show Huang taking part in a medical examination in which he is hooked up to monitors to assess his fitness levels, and being fitted with what appears to be a space suit.

Finally, the video shows the inside of a very realistic launch control room, where several Lumanautics employees look at screens showing Huang inside a rocket. The spacecraft then takes off and the video ends with footage of Huang sitting alone inside the rocket as it ascends.

There is also a website for Lumanautics, which claims Huang started training for the mission in 2017; that he will be the first person ever to leave the solar system; that he will be the only crew member on board; and that the ship, named AEON II, will be piloted by artificial intelligence.

The site also includes quotes from its alleged CEO named Toki Peregrine, and has mission update posts dating back to 2015.

The Facts

The scenes in the video show real footage of rocket launches, mission control rooms, and locations associated with space engineering. In one scene, Huang is shown driving past a huge building with the Lumanautics logo printed on the side. The building shown is real, but it is not owned by Lumanautics. It is NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building.

NASA VAB
NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building, based at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Ben Smegelsky/NASA

Another part of the footage shows the AEON II spacecraft lifting off from a launch pad. The camera briefly cuts to the booster firing, but the clip of the booster is actually taken from the launch of a completely different rocket, the Antares, which is manufactured by U.S. aerospace firm Northrop Grumman.

The clip looks like one in this video, which shows Antares launching the Cygnus cargo supply spacecraft to the International Space Station in 2020. Launch occurs at 37 minutes, 4 seconds.

There are also shots that appear to show Lumanautics flight engineers in a mission control room overseeing the rocket launch. One Twitter user pointed out that the mission control room looks almost exactly the same as NASA's Mission Control Center.

Hmm.... pic.twitter.com/DF7eUri1dv

— c0deous (@c0deous) March 19, 2021

Finally, Google Trends search results show no data for searches of Lumanautics before March 18 2021, the same day Huang's video was released.

It is unclear how funding would be secured for a mission to launch a human out of the solar system without attracting significant media attention. The cost would likely be extremely high. NASA predicts that the first phase alone of its Artemis program will cost $28 billion from 2021 through 2025, and that only involves the Moon.

The Ruling

False.

Huang's video is convincing and well-produced, and the website for Lumanautics is professional in appearance.

Some Reddit users have speculated the project might be an interactive way for fans to get involved in an upcoming musical project by Huang.

Given the fact the video appears to make use of existing footage that has been edited, the lack of any media attention given to the alleged rocket launch up to now, and the fact that no information about a previously unseen rocket capable of flight outside of the solar system is available, Huang's claim that he has gone to space appears to be false.

Newsweek has contacted Huang and Lumanautics for comment.

Andrew Huang
Andrew Huang (right) at the Music Makers panel at the ninth annual VidCon convention on June 20, 2018, in Anaheim, California. Getty/Joe Scarnici