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 "grim."
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.
Track the launch timing here:
Watch the live stream here:
More info on Starship Children's Hospital: