Character from Valve's Portal 2 game is "going to actual space"

"Wheatley," an orb-shaped robot pal in Valve Software's popular 2011 game Portal 2, is on his way to space. The unauthorized stowaway is on a Japanese spacecraft now in Earth orbit, heading to the the International Space Station (ISS).

Robert Pearlman reports:

[Wheatley] is flying aboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA's) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) that launched on Friday (July 20) to resupply the space station. The character, in miniature two-dimensional (2-D) form, is soaring through real space thanks to an unnamed NASA worker.

Valve announced on its website's blog that "thanks to an anonymous tech at NASA, Wheatley is actually going to actual space."

The one-eyed sphere, or "personality core" as referred to in the video game, is given its voice by English actor and comedian Stephen Merchant. On board the HTV, which is nicknamed "Kounotori or "white stork", the robot's voice is offered in the form of a phrase engraved under Wheatley's likeness — "In spaaaaaaace!" (Portal 2 players may associate that quote with another of the game's personality cores, the so-called "Space Core," though Valve attributes it to Wheatley on their blog.)

Photo: this image posted on Valve's website shows "what appears to be a circuit board with Wheatley's likeness laser-inscribed in one corner," according to Pearlman. We don't know the scale of the component, or the instrument it's part of.


  1. Yeah not to be “That internet nerd” or anything but that is totally “The Space Core” one of the corrupt personality cores you meet late in the game…it is obsessed with all things space. 

  2. So it’s…  a picture of Wheatley?  A little tiny itsy bitsy picture?  Not nearly good enough.

    I’ll be more impressed when the Io Lander is an exact scale model of GladOS.

  3. I would argue that while the quote is from the Space Core, the image is that of Wheatley because the iris is much closer to Wheatley’s than the Space Core’s.

    So there.

  4. You know that Russian computer game Twigger was sent into space on board the Mir station in 1998 already?

    1.  Missing the point there. It’s not “A video game / game character is going to space!” It’s “A video game character who was humorously obsessed with space is going to space!” Not exactly deep, I admit, but you’re not quite getting it. (Unless there’s some comparison between a character in the game and Space Core but I confess that my knowledge of Russian computer games is…sparse.)

      1. You know, when we re-formulate the news as “some astronaut draws a Space Core on an unidentified piece of space equipment”, it suddenly turns into no news at all.

  5. I like the space core’s that are starting to crop up in other games, all easter-egg-like.  The space core mod for skyrim, for starters.

  6. I feel better by telling myself they’ll send the Space Core when it can be a real 3D Space Core and not just a drawing.

    Don’t worry Space Core, you’ll get to space some day.

    Oh, wait…

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