NASA has won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Interactive Program at the Creative Arts Emmys. The event is a companion to the prestigious television awards that is aired a week before the main ceremony. The Emmy was awarded to NASA in recognition of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) “Cassini’s Grand Finale” campaign.
The Cassini–Huygens mission was launched on September 15, 1997. The mission was a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to study Saturn. Investigations of the planet included close observation of the planet itself, the rings that surround it and the several moons that orbit the planet.
During the final weeks of its operational lifespan, Cassini conducted a set of manoeuvres dubbed its Grand Finale. The manoeuvres included a number of risky passes between Saturn and the planet’s inner rings followed by the probe plunging into the heart of Saturn finally burning up in its atmosphere.
JPL’s “Cassini’s Grand Finale” campaign sought to document the final days of Cassini. The event was live streamed on all major social media outlets. NASA also created several 360 experiences including dedicated 360 feeds of mission control and an interactive animation of Cassini’s journey. The team behind the campaign also developed a curriculum enabling teachers to educate classes on the mission and our solar system.
NASA beat out several industry heavyweights to win the 2018 Outstanding Original Interactive Program category. In addition to NASA’s “Cassini’s Grand Finale” campaign, the category featured the Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab, the COCO and Spider-Man Homecoming VR experiences, and Google’s Back to the Moon.