NASA Lands Emmy Nomination For Its Impressive Coverage Of Cassini’s Grand Finale

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The glorious Cassini mission is once again in the spotlight, and deservedly so. The pioneering exploration mission of Saturn ended with an epic blaze last September, as reported by the Inquisitr at the time. But its legacy lives on and is now being celebrated with an Emmy nomination.

Designed and built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the Cassini spacecraft kept a few million people on the edge of their seats during the last stage of its 20-year-long mission, as it plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere to disintegrate over the gas giant’s skies and become one with the planet it was sent to explore.

JPL’s coverage of the mission’s final act, dubbed the Grand Finale, turned Cassini into a full-blown phenomenon. The JPL team ran an entire digital campaign spanning half a year, to keep the public in the loop with the goings-on of the Cassini spacecraft and its scheduled crash into Saturn.

Their efforts have now been rewarded with an Emmy nomination by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, for Outstanding Original Interactive Program, NASA announced on July 13.

“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,” stated space agency officials.


The campaign to let the world know about Cassini’s Grand Finale launched with the spacecraft’s riveting dive between Saturn and its rings — until then, an unexplored territory — that took place on April 26, 2017.

The coverage of Cassini’s last exploits ran until the mission’s final moments, ending with a final lap around Saturn and its rings and the meteoric blaze of glory that marked space probe’s spectacular crash into the planet’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017.

According to NASA, Cassini beamed back science data “to the very last second” before its glorious death, capturing a total of nearly 400,000 images on its long journey to Saturn.

“The multi-faceted campaign included regular updates on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the Cassini mission website,” notes the space agency.

But things didn’t end there. JPL‘s coverage of Cassini’s Grand Finale featured “a dramatic short film to communicate the mission’s story and preview its endgame;” a series of 360-degree videos, including one taken from inside JPL mission control; news features about the mission and the people behind it; space art from Cassini fans; “and software to provide real-time tracking of the spacecraft, down to its final transmission to Earth,” NASA reports.

The Youtube short-film below, titled “For Your Consideration: The NASA Cassini Grand Finale,” showcases the missions many accomplishments, paying tribute to the people who made everything possible and built public awareness of the importance of the mission.

The list of nominees for the 2018 Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Original Interactive Program category includes a Google Spotlight Stories App entitled “Back to the Moon” and three Oculus VR experiences, “Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab,” “Coco VR,” and “Spiderman Homecoming.”

While the Primetime Emmys will be awarded on September 17, the Academy hosts a separate ceremony for the Creative Arts Emmys, which include the interactive awards. This ceremony will be held on September 15, at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.