NASA Television has been awarded a primetime Emmy award forengineering excellence, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of thetechnological innovations that led to the first broadcast from the moon by Apollo11 astronauts on July 20, 1969.
"I congratulate the many NASA staffers who are beingrecognized by the academy with this award for contributions to televisionengineering excellence," said NASA chief Charles Bolden. "From thefirst landing of man onthe moon in 1969 to today's high definition broadcasts of America's ongoingspace exploration initiatives, television has been a powerful communicationstool that enables the agency to share its achievements in exploration anddiscovery with the world."
The 2009 Philo T. Farnsworth Award, named after the mancredited with designing and building the world's first working televisionsystem, honors an agency, company or institution with contributions over a longperiod of time that have significantly affected the state of television technologyand engineering.
Farnsworth and his wife Elma, whom he called ?Pem,? watchedthat firstbroadcast from the moon as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrintouched down on the lunar surface.
"We were watching it and when Neil Armstrong landed onthe 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 onSaturday 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 ModulePilot and moonwalkerBuzz Aldrin on behalf of NASA. Nafzger was 28 years old when he worked withthe team that brought television from the moon to a world-wide audienceestimated at more than 600 million people.
"I am honored to have been selected to accept thisaward on behalf of NASA and the hundreds of engineers and technicians who madethe telecast of this historic event possible," Nafzger said.
This is NASA Television's second Emmy Award for 2009. InJanuary, the Midsouth Chapter of the National Television Academy awarded NASATV the Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn.
- SPACE.com Video Show: Moon Shots: Apollo Astronauts Remember
- NASA Budget Too Slim to Reach Moon by 2020, Panel Says
- SPACE.com Special Report - THE MOON: Then, Now, Next