NASA today received four 2020 Webby awards, highlighting the agency’s diverse digital offerings in websites, social media and apps across its broad programs.
“We are very pleased that these awards show the diversity of our digital communications,” said Bettina Inclán, NASA’s associate administrator for communication. “We won for websites, social media, videos and apps. With awards going to NASA Headquarters and three field centers, they also show the whole agency’s commitment to effective digital communication.”
NASA’s four Webby Award winners are:
- NASA Moon Tunes – NASA’s Johnson Space Center solicited songs for a playlist to accompany astronauts on their three-day trip to the Moon during the Artemis program, winning for Social Media in Culture & Lifestyle. More than 1 million submissions helped build the final playlist. Moon Tunes also won the People’s Voice award in its category.
- Send Your Name to Mars – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory invited members of the public to send their names to Mars aboard the Perseverance rover; a record 10.9 million people did. The campaign won for Best Social Community Building and Engagement. “Send Your Name to Mars” also won the People’s Voice award in its category.
- NASA’s social media, managed by NASA’s Office of Communications, won its second straight Webby for Best Overall Social Presence. NASA’s flagship accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have tens of millions of followers, and the social media team regularly answers questions from the public via its #AskNASA video series and Reddit “Ask Me Anything” programs.
- “NASA Explorers: Cryosphere” – The “NASA Explorers” digital series from the Goddard Space Flight Center highlights NASA’s scientific research around the world. The of “NASA Explorers” focused on research into the cryosphere, Earth’s icy reaches. The series has 1.5 million views, and Claire Parkinson, one of the featured scientists, is now a finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America award.
Two other digital efforts were voted the People’s Voice winner: NASA’s Climate Change website and Solar System Interactive, which allows users to view the solar system from a variety of perspectives, including spacecraft.
- NASA’s Global Climate Change (website nominee for Green) – This JPL-managed site tracks real-time data about how Earth’s climate is changing. The site has received six nominations, winning two Webbys and two People’s Voice awards.
- Solar System Interactive – Also from JPL, this site shows the current relative location of planets and other bodies, including spacecraft. It was nominated in the Education & Reference category of Apps, Mobile and Voice.
“Our goal is to set the standard for innovation by creating digital experiences that engage, educate and inspire,” said Michael Greene, director of Communications and Education at JPL. “We are honored that these efforts are being recognized by the Webby and the People’s Voice awards.”
NASA received 12 nominations this year, a record for the agency. Its other nominees included:
- NASA Astronaut Reaction GIFs (Best Photograpy and Graphics) – NASA’s Johnson Space Center created a series of reaction GIFs with an astronaut for public use.
- Rolling Stones on Mars (Best Influencer Endorsement) – NASA named a rock that appeared to have been moved by the thrusters of NASA’s Mars InSight lander as it settled onto Mars. The campaign received 19 million social engagements.
- NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration (website nominee for Weird and Science) – The site lets internet users explore planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets. It won a People’s Voice Award in 2018.
- NASA Home and City (Government and Civil Innovation) – The new, upgraded interactive website lets users explore how NASA technology is in their home and around the world. A previous version of the site won a Webby in the Government category in 2010.
- The “Down to Earth” video series, in which astronauts talk about their perspective on Earth from space, was nominated in the Science & Education video category.
NASA had three honorees in addition to the nominees:
- How the Visually Impaired Experience Hubble Images (Video) – The book “Touch the Universe” by Noreen Grice features some of Hubble’s most well-known photographs, but all of these photos were specially made to include everyone.
- NASA JPL-edu Teachable Moments – Teachable Moments harness the latest space missions and discoveries from NASA to help educators engage students in STEM with educational explainers, lessons and activities.
- NASA.gov (Government and Civil Innovation) – NASA’s home page has previously received three Webby Awards and 11 People’s Voice awards.
Established in 1996, The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. In 2019, there were more than 13,000 entries, and more than 3 million votes were cast for the People’s Voice awards.
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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
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- Former CEO Charged in Schemes to Defraud U.S. Government Related to the Conflict in AfghanistanBy Sam NewsNovember 17, 2020The former chief executive officer of a U.S. government contractor was charged today in connection with schemes to defraud the U.S. Department of Defense regarding contracts related to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.[Read More…]
- NASA’s Venus Rover Challenge Winners AnnouncedBy Sam NewsIn SpaceSeptember 26, 2020An overwhelming response [Read More…]
- Appointment of António Guterres as UN Secretary-General for a Second TermBy Sam NewsJune 18, 2021
- Opening Remarks at the Virtual Leaders Summit on ClimateBy Sam NewsApril 22, 2021
- U.S. Department of State and National Park Service Partner to Strengthen Fulbright Exchanges and Increase Global Environmental AwarenessBy Sam NewsJanuary 14, 2021
- United Kingdom Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to the [Read More…]
- United States Files Complaint Against Nutter Home Loans for Forging Certifications and Using Unqualified Underwriters to Approve Government-Insured Reverse MortgagesBy Sam NewsSeptember 25, 2020The United States has filed a complaint under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 and the False Claims Act against Nutter Home Loans, f/k/a James B. Nutter & Co. (Nutter), for forging certifications and using unqualified underwriters to approve Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), the Department of Justice announced today.[Read More…]
- Higher Education: IRS and Education Could Better Address Risks Associated with Some For-Profit College ConversionsBy Sam NewsJanuary 27, 2021GAO identified 59 for-profit college conversions that occurred from January 2011 through August 2020, almost all of which involved the college's sale to a tax-exempt organization. In about one-third of the conversions, GAO found that former owners or other officials were insiders to the conversion—for example, by creating the tax-exempt organization that purchased the college or retaining the presidency of the college after its sale (see figure). While leadership continuity can benefit a college, insider involvement in a conversion poses a risk that insiders may improperly benefit—for example, by influencing the tax-exempt purchaser to pay more for the college than it is worth. Once a conversion has ended a college's for-profit ownership and transferred ownership to an organization the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes as tax-exempt, the college must seek Department of Education (Education) approval to participate in federal student aid programs as a nonprofit college. Since January 2011, Education has approved 35 colleges as nonprofit colleges and denied two; nine are under review and 13 closed prior to Education reaching a decision. Figure: Example of a For-Profit College Conversion with Officials in Insider Roles IRS guidance directs staff to closely scrutinize whether significant transactions with insiders reported by an applicant for tax-exempt status will exceed fair-market value and improperly benefit insiders. If an application contains insufficient information to make that assessment, guidance says that staff may need to request additional information. In two of 11 planned or final conversions involving insiders that were disclosed in an application, GAO found that IRS approved the application without certain information, such as the college's planned purchase price or an appraisal report estimating the college's value. Without such information, IRS staff could not assess whether the price was inflated to improperly benefit insiders, which would be grounds to deny the application. If IRS staff do not consistently apply guidance, they may miss indications of improper benefit. Education has strengthened its reviews of for-profit college applications for nonprofit status, but it does not monitor newly converted colleges to assess ongoing risk of improper benefit. In two of three cases GAO reviewed in depth, college financial statements disclosed transactions with insiders that could indicate the risk of improper benefit. Education officials agreed that they could assess this risk through its audited financial statement review process and could develop procedures to do so. Until Education develops and implements such procedures for new conversions, potential improper benefit may go undetected. A for-profit college may convert to nonprofit status for a variety of reasons, such as wanting to align its status and mission. However, in some cases, former owners or other insiders could improperly benefit from the conversion, which is impermissible under the Internal Revenue Code and Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. GAO was asked to examine for-profit college conversions. This report reviews what is known about insider involvement in conversions and to what extent IRS and Education identify and respond to the risk of improper benefit. GAO identified converted for-profit colleges and reviewed their public IRS filings. GAO also examined IRS and Education processes for overseeing conversions, interviewed agency officials, and reviewed federal laws, regulations and agency guidance. GAO selected five case study colleges based on certain risk factors, obtained information from college officials, and reviewed their audited financial statements. In three cases, GAO also reviewed Education case files. Because of the focus on IRS and Education oversight, GAO did not audit any college in this review to determine whether its conversion improperly benefitted insiders. GAO is making three recommendations, including that IRS assess and improve conversion application reviews and that Education develop and implement procedures to monitor newly converted colleges. IRS said it will assess its review process and will evaluate GAO's other recommendation, as discussed in the report. Education agreed with GAO's recommendation. For more information, contact Melissa Emrey-Arras at (617) 788-0534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Toyota Motor Company to Pay $180 Million in Settlement for Decade-Long Noncompliance with Clean Air Act Reporting RequirementsBy Sam NewsJanuary 14, 2021The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the United States has filed and simultaneously settled a civil lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor North America Inc., Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. (Toyota) for systematic, longstanding violations of Clean Air Act emission-related defect reporting requirements, which require manufacturers to report potential defects and recalls affecting vehicle components designed to control emissions.[Read More…]
- Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivers Remarks at Georgetown Law’s Global Antitrust Enforcement SymposiumBy Sam NewsOctober 6, 2020“Reflections”: Looking [Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Hillary Clinton, “You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton” PodcastBy Sam NewsMarch 2, 2021
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken On ABC’s This Week with George StephanopoulosBy Sam NewsMay 23, 2021
- Breaking Barriers: The NHL’s Willie O’Ree, Documentary Film & Global Discussion on Racial EqualityBy Sam NewsFebruary 16, 2021
- Belgium Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
- Texas Man Charged In $24 Million COVID-Relief FraudBy Sam NewsOctober 9, 2020A Dallas-area man was charged in an indictment filed Thursday for his alleged participation in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking approximately $24.8 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.[Read More…]
- Readout of Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall from the Funeral of FBI Special Agent Daniel AlfinBy Sam NewsFebruary 7, 2021Acting United States Attorney General Monty Wilkinson, FBI Director Christopher Wray and President Joe Biden’s Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall represented the United States Government’s official delegation today at the funeral service for fallen FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[Read More…]
- Disqualification of Pan-Democratic Lawmakers in Hong KongBy Sam NewsNovember 12, 2020