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November 2, 2020 11:29 pm

Valves Gabe Newell is sending a gnome to space

Image: Valve

Gabe Newell, president of Valve, the video game company behind the Half-Life series and game marketplace Steam, is thanking the country of New Zealand for its hospitality by launching a gnome into space with aerospace company Rocket Lab in mid-November. Newell decided to stay in New Zealand at the start of the pandemic and is donating a dollar to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Starship Children’s Hospital for every viewer who watches the satellite launch livestream or the online recording within 24 hours of launch.

This soon-to-be 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 achieved meme status following the speedruns and...

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