2nd AVS, NASA earn Webby Award for live stream

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson

Hill’s 2nd Audiovisual Squadron’s joint efforts with NASA to live stream the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s return to Earth to millions of viewers earned the teams a Webby Award, top honors for Internet excellence.

Launched in 2016, the OSIRIS-Rex, or Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer, spacecraft traveled to a near-Earth asteroid and collected a sample of rocks and dust from the surface.

The spacecraft delivered the sample to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. It released the capsule holding pieces of Bennu over the Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule parachuted to the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range, which was captured by the 2nd AVS.

“Our entire team was invested in the success of the OSIRIS-REx broadcast, including efforts to produce the live broadcast, operate cameras, network live feeds from several terrestrial, airborne, and space-based cameras, and in ensuring our team had the right resources,” said Lt. Col. Mark Graff, 2nd AVS commander.

The AVS team made the operation available live to NASA’s 37 million social media subscribers, NASA-TV channel viewers, and to global media. They performed four site surveys to enable 20 video feeds from five geographically separated sites and two aerial platforms. During a 14-hour execution day, the team produced NASA's 195-minute broadcast switching among 26 live audio and video feeds of operation and 70 pre-produced video and graphics packages featuring interviews of NASA officials, astronauts, and scientists.  

The efforts earned the Webby Award in the Video – Events and Live Streams category as the People’s Voice Winner.

“This is a true team win, and I’m grateful to NASA for the opportunity and to each of the squadron’s Airman and civilians for their efforts to demonstrate the Air Force’s flexibility to deliver in any situation,” Graff said.

It was challenging because the landing spot at UTTR presented huge complexities and the team had to cover a vast and remote area.

Michael Moreau, OSIRIS-REx deputy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said 2nd AVS was a critical partner that enabled millions worldwide to watch the capsule’s return to Earth to deliver the largest asteroid sample ever collected in space.

“Returning a capsule safely to Earth containing material collected from a 4-billion-year-old asteroid is daunting,” Moreau said. “Bringing the public along for the landing and recovery was extraordinary. The team overcame the harsh environment and remote location, working gracefully around critical operations to capture this historic event.”

The 2nd AVS is a highly specialized Department of Defense video production team and is a go-to source for high-quality multimedia content since its creation in 1967. Their mission revolves around creating effective audiovisual productions that integrate Department of the Air Force stories to advance global DoD missions.

For more information on the event that led to the award, visit https://www.dvidshub.net/news/454210/2nd-avs-provides-usafs-first-ever-4k-live-broadcast-during-nasas-osiris-rex-capsule-landing.  The award announcement can be found at https://winners.webbyawards.com/2024/video/general-video/events-live-streams/288914/osirisrex-asteroid-sample-return-official-4k-nasa-live-stream