NASA, SpaceX Coverage of 1st Crew Dragon Test Flight Wins Emmy

Update for Sept. 16: NASA won a second Emmy for its coverage of the InSight Mars lander's touchdown on Mars. Read our full story.

NASA, your first Emmy of 2019 has landed. 

The NASA team behind the space agency's coverage of SpaceX's historic Crew Dragon test flight to the International Space Station last March nabbed an Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Program late Saturday (Sept. 14) during the Creative Arts Emmys, part of the 71st Emmy Awards, at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. The award recognizes the outreach by NASA and SpaceX to share the milestone mission with the public through live video, images and social media.

"Just in: We won an Emmy in interactive programming for coverage of the SpaceX Demo-1 flight, which put us one step closer to our goal of launching NASA astronauts from American soil," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said via Twitter after the win. "Congrats to all involved and those who help tell the NASA story every day!"

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

Dan Huot, a NASA spokesperson with the Johnson Space Center in Houston, appeared ecstatic.

"Weeeeeee just won an Emmy for DM-1. Thanks to my NASA and SpaceX family. Unreal," Huot wrote on Twitter alongside an image of him holding the award.

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

SpaceX's Demonstration Mission 1 (also known as Demo-1 or DM-1) was an unpiloted six-day test flight of the company's Crew Dragon, a spacecraft designed to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is one of two private companies (Boeing is the other) with NASA contracts to fly astronauts to and from the space station on commercial space taxis.

SpaceX launched the first Crew Dragon on March 2, with the spacecraft docking itself at the orbiting laboratory a day later. Crew Dragon returned to Earth on March 8 and was retrieved from the Atlantic Ocean. During the Demo-1 mission, NASA and SpaceX streamed live video of the flight's launch, docking and reentry, as well as test operations inside the Crew Dragon capsule by astronauts on the space station.

"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 officials said in a statement.

NASA is also nominated for a second Emmy for the agency's its coverage of the InSight Mars landing in November 2018. The agency is nominated for an Outstanding Original Interactive Program for its InSight Mars mission. The nomination is for all of the agency's Insight coverage, "including news, web, education, television and social media efforts," agency officials said in the statement.

The decision on that award, one way or another, is expected tonight (Sept. 15) during the second night of the Creative Awards Emmys.

NASA officials have said that 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.