NASA Television has been awarded a primetime Emmy award for engineering excellence, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the technological innovations that led to the first broadcast from the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts on July 20, 1969.

"I congratulate the many NASA staffers who are being recognized by the academy with this award for contributions to television engineering excellence," said NASA chief Charles Bolden. "From the first landing of man on the moon in 1969 to today's high definition broadcasts of America's ongoing space exploration initiatives, television has been a powerful communications tool that enables the agency to share its achievements in exploration and discovery with the world."

The 2009 Philo T. Farnsworth Award, named after the man credited with designing and building the world's first working television system, honors an agency, company or institution with contributions over a long period of time that have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.

Farnsworth and his wife Elma, whom he called ?Pem,? watched that first broadcast from the moon as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the lunar surface.

"We were watching it and when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon Phil turned to me and said, 'Pem, this has made it all worthwhile,'? Elma Farnsworth said in a 1996 interview.? ?Before then, he wasn't too sure."

The Emmy will be presented to NASA during a ceremony on Saturday at the Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles.

Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will accept the award along with Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot and moonwalker Buzz Aldrin on behalf of NASA. Nafzger was 28 years old when he worked with the team that brought television from the moon to a world-wide audience estimated at more than 600 million people.

"I am honored to have been selected to accept this award on behalf of NASA and the hundreds of engineers and technicians who made the telecast of this historic event possible," Nafzger said.

This is NASA Television's second Emmy Award for 2009. In January, the Midsouth Chapter of the National Television Academy awarded NASA TV the Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn.