Valve announces an unusual charity initiative that will involve launching a
garden gnome into space this month to benefit New Zealand children's hospital
Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Starship
. This recalls the
Little Rocket Man achievement
from Half-Life 2: Episode Two
. All we
need us to do is watch the launch, either via the livestream or within the first
24 hours and Gabe will make a contribution. This will all take place during a
launch window that spans the second half of this month.
is tracking the launch timing, and
here is where to watch the
. Here are the details:
Gabe Newell, president of Valve, is
proud to announce that he has convinced Rocket Lab, a global leader in dedicated
small satellite launch, to shoot a garden gnome into space while Newell proudly
watches from Earth.
What's the source of all this pride? Newell, an emerging global leader in
convincing Rocket Lab to launch things into space, will be donating one dollar
to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Starship for every person who watches
the launch online at
www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream either live or within 24 hours of launch.
This money may someday help achieve Newell's ultimate dream -- launching a
children's hospital into space -- but in the interim will be used for more
practical hospital-related purposes.
Manufactured with support from Weta Workshop, the Wellington-based,
multi-award-winning design studio and global leader in garden gnome fabrication,
the tiny astronaut will be manufactured from titanium and printed in the shape
of Half-Life gaming icon Gnome Chompski. The 150 mm gnome will be integrated
with Electron's Kick Stage, designed to deliver small satellites into precise
orbits, and launched as part of a rideshare mission from Launch Complex 1 in
Mahia, New Zealand during 14-day launch window that opens on November 16 NZT /
November 15 UTC (www.rocketlabusa.com/next-mission).
One revolutionary feature of Kick Stage is its ability to reorient and deorbit
itself post launch, enabling it to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up without a
trace. While this is good news for the environment, it doesn't bode well for
Gnome Chompski's chances of returning safely to Earth, which Newell admits are
Newell was in New Zealand, visiting friends at Weta Workshop and Rocket Labs,
when the pandemic hit earlier this year. He has since called Auckland his
temporary home, and has been looking for a way to help the economy and the
community that sheltered him (or at least hasn't kicked him out yet). Newell
would like the good people of New Zealand, global leaders of living in New
Zealand, to know that his eccentric attempts at charity are largely harmless and
pose no immediate threat to their way of life.