PASADENA, Calif. – NASA has received two Webby awards for excellence on the Internet. NASA's main Web site, www.nasa.gov, won the People's Voice award for best government Web site. The Cassini mission Web site received a Webby award for best science site.
The People's Voice award is the second for NASA's Web site, which also won in 2003. More than 500,000 people cast votes this year.
"We're extremely happy to be honored by the Internet community this way," said Brian Dunbar, the content manager for www.nasa.gov at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We've always tried to focus the site on giving the public what they're looking for in an engaging and compelling way. Combined with some of the highest customer-satisfaction ratings in the government, this award tells us we're on the right track."
Judges from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which sponsors the Webbys, selected the Cassini site for the top honor in the science category.
"The Cassini Web site is the door to the science and technology of the mission to Saturn, contained in hundreds of thousands of pages," said Alice Wessen, manager of Cassini public engagement at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "The site houses all the latest news, science findings and images Cassini returns as it orbits Saturn. The public can see every picture within eight hours after it's beamed down from the spacecraft."
NASA's Web site, which received 120 million visits in 2008, offers the public the latest news, mission coverage and multimedia from the agency's scientific research, technology development and exploration efforts. Visitors can surf thousands of images from throughout the universe, watch live video from the International Space Station or read more than a dozen blogs written by agency employees.
In the last year, the NASA Web team has expanded its presence into social media, creating an official NASA channel on YouTube at www.youtube.com/nasatelevision, multiple Twitter feeds led by @NASA, and mission pages on Facebook and MySpace. Since NASA astronaut Mike Massimino began twittering via @Astro_Mike on April 3, he has gained more than 175,000 followers. NASA was recognized in February with a Shorty award for its @marsphoenix Twitter presence, which was written in the "voice" of the spacecraft.
For a list of NASA missions providing updates on social media Web sites, visit www.nasa.gov/collaborate.
NASA's Web team also was among the honorees for Rich Media/Advertising for its multimedia commemoration of NASA's 50th anniversary. The feature, hosted by the robot Automa, includes an interactive news conference with the original Mercury astronauts, music from across the decades and an "appearance" by renowned astronomer Carl Sagan.
On Feb. 2, NextGov.com cited NASA's popular homepage as one of five federal government agencies employing best practices in Web 2.0. Socialgovernment.com also recognized the agency as among the best in federal government using Twitter, YouTube and social media.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, and designed, developed and assembled the orbiter. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Carolina Martinez 818-354-9382
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Michael Cabbage 202-358-1600