NASA Television Receives Philo T. Farnsworth Primetime Emmy Award
NASA Television has been honored with a Primetime Emmy Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The 2009 Philo T. Farnsworth Award recognizes the agency for engineering excellence and commemorates the 40th anniversary of the technological innovations that made possible the first live TV broadcast from the moon by the Apollo 11 crew on July 20, 1969.
The prestigious Emmy 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.
"I congratulate the many NASA staffers who are being recognized by the academy with this award for contributions to television engineering excellence," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "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."
In 1927, Farnsworth was the first inventor to transmit a television image comprised of 60 horizontal lines. He developed the dissector tube, the foundation of the modern electronic televisions. In a 1996 interview, his wife Elma, whose nickname was Pem, said the two of them watched with pride the televised Apollo 11 moonwalk. "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.' Before then, he wasn't too sure."
Over the agency's 50-year history, NASA TV has served as a vital engineering and mission support resource and a valuable communications outlet.
"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," said Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., 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.
Joining Nafzger in accepting the honor will be Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot and moonwalker Buzz Aldrin.
Today, NASA TV is available on four digital channels, serving the general public, educators and journalists. It also is streamed continuously over the agency's Internet homepage.
The Primetime Emmys are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood, Calif. Recipients of the Engineering Awards will receive their statues during a special ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles.
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.