BURBANK, CA — The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has awarded the organization’s prestigious Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation to NASA, Amazon Web Services, and AWS Elemental, an Amazon Web Services Company, for the first public live 4K stream from the International Space Station (ISS). The honor, whose recipient was selected by a jury of industry veterans, was conceived to recognize companies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence, whether in the development of workflow and process or project to support creative storytelling or in technical innovation. The coveted distinction will be bestowed November 16th at the 12th annual HPA Awards gala at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
In 2006, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) achieved a broadcast industry milestone when the agency successfully produced a live high-definition (HD) transmission from space. On April 26, 2017, at 10:30am Pacific Time (US) at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2017 NAB Show, NASA crossed another threshold in advanced video innovation as it delivered live 4K video from the ISS. The live feed from 250 miles above Earth was encoded using AWS Elemental video processing software on board the ISS and on the ground at Johnson Space Center for delivery by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the cloud to the Las Vegas Convention Center and to viewers globally on multi-screen devices.
According to NASA, the opportunities that live 4K video unlocks for the agency are significant: in addition to enhancing NASA’s ability to observe, uncover and adapt new knowledge of orbital and deep space, there is the visual impact of “live” versus recorded video. The 4K images can also benefit the work of scientists by helping engineers and payload developers better monitor experiments as well as spacecraft performance, and aid trouble-shooting.
Speaking on behalf of the jury, jury co-chairs Carolyn Giardina and Joachim Zell said, “The technology and workflow that enabled last spring’s inspiring live 4K broadcast from the ISS will be further used by NASA in conducting scientific research and sharing its work with the public. On behalf of the jury and the HPA, it is an honor to recognize the tremendous achievement born of this partnership.”
Communications manager for NASA's International Space Station Program Dylan Mathis noted: “NASA is honored to receive this award from HPA. The project was important to our team for many reasons, including its advancement of scientific progress while also offering an exceptionally engaging viewing experience to people who simply want to see what the ISS really looks like, the astronauts onboard and incredible images from space.”
“Extremely high-resolution video from the ISS helps support exploration, observation, and discovery by NASA scientists in space and on the ground. The cloud helps the public have an incredibly immersive educational experience of space at scale,” says Keith Wymbs, chief marketing officer for AWS Elemental. “It was thrilling to collaborate with NASA and with our colleagues at the National Association of Broadcasters on this milestone.”
In addition to the Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation, the HPA Awards will recognize excellence in 12 craft categories including color grading, editing, sound and visual effects during the gala. Other special awards bestowed that night include the Engineering Excellence Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award, to Larry Chernoff.