When you think of garden gnomes, your mind probably flashes to serene settings such as gardens. That’s because you are not Gabe Newell, founder of Valve. If you were, you might think of something more dramatic. Like, say… space. That’s where he will soon send a garden gnome, after all.
As reported on Polygon, Newell is teaming with a company called Rocket Lab to send a titanium garden gnome into orbit. The pointy hatted one will hitch a ride on a satellite as part of a current mission for the greater good of mankind, so it’s not like this is a waste of time or resources. Not only that, but the mission will benefit charity.
The charity in this case is the Starship Children’s Hospital, an organization that devotes itself to “providing family-centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.” Newell has pledged $1 in support of the New Zealand charity for every person who views the live stream of the launch, currently expected to take place on or after November 15, 2020.
As for the garden gnome, Rocket Lab describes it as follows: “Manufactured with support from multi-award-winning design studio Weta Workshop, the unique space component is additively manufactured from titanium and printed in the shape of Half-Life gaming icon Gnome Chompski.” The idea is that launching the gnome allows interested parties to test a 3D printing technique. Gnome Chompski will not survive his mission.
In advance of the launch, you have a terrific excuse to spend some time with Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the game where Gnome Chompski appeared as an achievement. Spend more cherished hours with him before he burns up while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.