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Valve’s Gabe Newell is sending a gnome into space on a Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket



Gabe Newell, president of Valve, the video game company behind Half-life game market and series Steam, are thanking the country New Zealand for their hospitality by launching a player into space with aerospace company Rocket Lab in mid-November. plan to stay in New Zealand at the start of the pandemic and is donating one dollar to the Children’s Intensive Care Unit at Starship Children’s Hospital for each viewer of the satellite launch live stream or online recording within 24 hours of launch.

This upcoming astronaut gnome is actually a 150mm tall model of “Garden Gnome”

; or “Gnome Chompski”, an item that first appeared in Half-Life 2: Episode Two but gained a meme status after speed games and travel games (like this one with a captivating detail written by former game journalist Tom Francis) popping up around it. The gnome could be a reference to an older prank involving photographing garden gnomes that have been “traveling” around the world, which has become more common as it seems to be suggested. mentioned in Amelie and when it serves as the basis of Travelocity’s “Where is my gnome” viral ad campaign.

Chompski continued to appear in Valve itself Left 4 died 2, DLC for Dying light and more recently Half-life: AlyxBut this upcoming real-life rocket launch is a fitting homage to the “Little Rocket Man” streak attached to the word gnome. Episode two. Achievements can only be unlocked if the player brings the gnome from the opening chapter of the game and places it on a rocket ship near the end – a task that is difficult as the player has to put the gnome down to complete. Half-Life environmental puzzles and combat scenarios.

Gnome inside Rocket Lab’s rocket
Picture: Valve

This pre-release version of the gnome watch is co-designed by special effects and the Weta Workshop prop and is made from titanium. Rocket Lab hopes to use it to “test and qualify for a new 3D printing technique that could be used for future spacecraft components”.

The GNOME will be mounted inside of Rocket Lab’s Kick Stage, the final stage of Rocket Lab’s Electron missile, allowing for more precise positioning of satellites in orbit. After all the missile’s payload is reduced, the Kick Stage can reactivate its engine to initiate debit. This quest isn’t quite the same as the sequel fans may have imagined for Chompski after putting him in Episode two, However; The gnome will burn with the Kick Stage when the two return to Earth’s atmosphere. Rocket Lab explains about Kick Stage in the video below:

Gnome Chompski will be accompanied by 29 other satellites during Rocket Lab’s November 16 launch from the southernmost tip of the Mahia Peninsula. The small satellites loaded on the company’s Kick Stage of the company’s Electron rocket have a wide range of uses from satellites focused on maritime communications and surveillance to New Zealand’s first student-developed satellite, Waka Āmiorangi Aotearoa APSS-1.

While sending a gnome into space is as silly as SpaceX’s Tesla Roadster launch, Newell’s inclusion of an element of charity – though he can only donate a sum instead of asking for it. people watching – at least making stunts more meaningful than pure marketing. Interested fans should follow Rocket Lab’s social network for updates on specific launch times during the 14-day launch that starts on November 16, NZT (6 a.m. ET / 3 p.m. am Pacific time on the 15th). The premiere itself will be streamed live on Rocket Lab’s website.




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