The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences nominated NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for Outstanding Original Interactive Program for its coverage of the Cassini mission’s Grand Finale at Saturn, including news, web, education, television and social media efforts.
In 2017, after nearly 20 years in space and 13 years revealing the wonders of Saturn, NASA’s Cassini orbiter was running out of fuel. As a final act, Cassini began a whole new mission — its Grand Finale. This journey into the unknown would end with a spectacular plunge into the planet. JPL created a multi-month digital campaign to celebrate the mission’s science and engineering accomplishments and communicate why the spacecraft must meet its end in the skies of Saturn.
Cassini’s first, daring dive into the unexplored space between the giant planet and its rings kicked off the campaign on April 26, 2017. It culminated on Sept. 15, 2017, with live coverage of Cassini’s plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere, with the spacecraft sending back science to the very last second.
The multi-faceted campaign included regular updates on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the Cassini mission website; multiple live social, web and TV broadcasts during which reporter and public questions were answered; a dramatic short film to communicate the mission’s story and preview its endgame; multiple 360-degree videos, including NASA’s first 360-degree livestream of a mission event from inside JPL mission control; an interactive press kit; a steady drumbeat of articles to keep fans updated with news and features about the people behind the mission; state-standards aligned educational materials; a celebration of art by amateur space enthusiasts; and software to provide real-time tracking of the spacecraft, down to its final transmission to Earth.
The Primetime Emmys will be awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles on Sept. 17. The Creative Arts Emmys, which includes interactive awards, will be presented during a separate ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.