The last time NASA sent a spacecraft to the Moon that was built to carry people, the internet didn’t exist. Its predecessor was a small network that connected a handful of servers at universities and military bases. That was 1972, and the system had only just developed the capability to send what people were calling “e-mail.” Fifty years later, NASA took the world’s online population to the Moon virtually as the Artemis I mission sent the Orion spacecraft around the Moon in preparation for landing humans there later this decade.
The internet also watched unfolding (literally) developments as members of the James Webb Space Telescope deployed the spacecraft’s components before starting to gather images, which, when they arrived, provided a look back in time 13 billion years. Throughout the year, NASA’s social media spread the news about all of the agency’s programs and people across a variety of platforms that encompassed all forms of digital media: text, imagery, video, audio, and augmented reality.
“Our digital team’s success is one of the best examples of how every day NASA fulfills its mission to explore for the benefit of all and inspire the world through discovery,” said Marc Etkind, NASA’s associate administrator for communications. “With the launch of Artemis I and the first images from the James Webb telescope, last year was one of the biggest years in NASA’s history, and we were happy to share it with the world."
29 Days on the Edge – We launched the James Webb Space Telescope. Then we had to get it working from a million miles away. (Technology video)
Artemis I: Taking the Internet to the Moon and Back – Taking a few million friends along for the ride. (Social media campaign)
How Hubble Images Are Made – As a cosmic photographer, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken over a million snapshots. Here’s how those images are made. (Science and education video)
NASA Webb Telescope Launch through Streaming – A 10-video playlist of major milestone events for the telescope. (Social events and live streaming)
NASA’s Eyes on Asteroids – Visualization of the asteroids in our solar system. (Website, best data visualization)
NASA’s Social Media: Creating a Community of Explorers – With millions of followers, NASA’s flagship social media accounts provide the agency with a collective audience that spans platforms and diverse groups of people. (Best Overall Social Presence - Brand)
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Unfolds the Universe – Keeping the world up to date on how the telescope was launched and deployed. (Social media campaign)
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Website – The online gateway to the home of NASA research into the planets and Earth science. (Science website)
“On a Mission” podcast series – Stories about NASA missions, told through the lives of those who make space exploration possible. (Science and education podcast)
Members of the public can vote in the People’s Voice Awards alongside the juried Webby Awards. To vote, click on the links to below. (Free registration required.)
Two other NASA properties were Webby honorees, which are recognized for their excellence but are not eligible for awards.
NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program was honored for its approach to accessible technology, and the James Webb Space Telescope’s social media program was also honored in the general social category.
The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences which “recognizes excellence in digital creativity, establishing best practices on a yearly basis – continually pushing the standards of web development higher,” according to its website.
Members of the public can vote through 11:59 p.m. PDT April 20 for the People’s Voice awards as part of the Webby Awards. (Free registration required.) Here are the links to vote in each category:
29 Days on the Edge
Artemis I Social Campaign
How Hubble Images Are Made
NASA Webb Telescope Launch through Streaming
NASA’s Eyes on Asteroids
NASA’s Social Media: Creating a Community of Explorers
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Unfolds the Universe
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Website
On a Mission” podcast series