NASA Nabs Emmy Nominations for SpaceX Launch, Mars Landing

Two NASA broadcasts for historic milestones in space exploration have nabbed Emmy nominations for interactive programming, but will the space agency take home a statue?

NASA's coverage of its InSight landing on Mars in November 2018 earned its first 2019 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Interactive Program to recognize the agency's news, webb education, TV and social media efforts. 

"InSight is the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars, using an ultra-sensitive seismometer, a heat-flow probe and other instruments. InSight is managed for NASA by JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena," NASA officials said in a statement Friday (Sept. 13). "JPL won the 2018 Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program for its coverage of the Cassini mission's Grand Finale at Saturn."

Watch: NASA's Emmy Video for InSight Mars Landing
NASA's SpaceX Crew Dragon Emmy Video

The second Emmy nomination is for NASA's coverage of the March 2019 flight of SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spacecraft on an uncrewed test flight. During that test flight, called Demonstration Mission 1, SpaceX launched human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station and back as a shakedown cruise for eventual crewed missions. It was the first privately-developed crew-capable spacecraft to visit the space station.

Related: SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-1 Test Flight in Pictures

"The nomination is a result of years of preparation for the historic launch and multiple live broadcasts from NASA and SpaceX facilities across the country during each phase of the Crew Dragon’s mission to the International Space Station and its stunning return to Earth," NASA officials said in the statement. "Throughout NASA’s coverage, the agency and SpaceX engaged social media users around the world and at local social media influencer gatherings at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida."

NASA's Emmy nominations are part of the Creative Arts Emmys, which are being awarded this weekend (Sept. 14 and Sept. 15) at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. According to NASA, an edited version of the ceremonies will air Sept. 21 on the cable channel FXX, and will appear in the full 71st Primetime Emmys broadcast on Sept. 22.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.