Many will remember the Gnome that featured in Half-Life 2: Episode 2 because of its remarkable rise to prominence in popular culture. Now, a model of that Gnome is now being sent to space for charity.
The president of video game distributor Valve, Gabe Newell, is going to be sending the Gnome into space to raise money for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Starship Children’s Hospital in New Zealand.
The president of the company that is responsible for Steam and the gaming franchise Half-Life went to New Zealand at the beginning of the pandemic and intends to give back to a local cause. However, some engagement from the audience is required to make the launch a success.
Newell will donate a dollar for every viewer of the live stream and recording of the event for the following 24 hours. This may seem like an odd method to generate money, but there will be many who want to see the Gnome Chompski fly into space.
Not only was the Gnome a frequent meme used by the Half-Life community, but it has also featured in Travelocity adverts. In the Garden Gnome’s first appearance in Half-Life 2, players had to do a series of puzzles and remember the ornament in order to eventually place them in a rocket. The result was the achievement ‘Little Rocket Man,’ which makes this event seem fitting.
The 150mm Gnome will be joined by 29 satellites when it launches on November 16th, but this will be the end of its travels. When the Gnome is released it will burn up as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Rocket Lab will be launching the satellites alongside the Gnome and, interestingly, once the payload is dropped the Kick Stage can reignite to take the items out of orbit.
While sending the Gnome up to space isn’t the silliest thing rocketed into the unknown, it is definitely pretty humorous. For those who are interested in the final adventure of Gnome Chompski and raising money for charity, the event can be watched at midnight NZT on November 16 (6.00am ET/3.00am PT on November 15) on Rocket Lab’s website.