In the middle of last month, NeoGaf poster DrForester (probably not the actual MST3K guy, but WHO KNOWS) launched a replica of the Portal Companion Cube into near-space as part of a scientific exercise.

He and a group of students were sending balloon satellites (science experiments in a box, tied to a weather balloon) up, up and away into the stratosphere. The Companion Cube’s task was to see how extreme cold affects flash memory.

companion cube space

Companion Cube in spaaaaaaaace, as photographed by one of the other balloons.

The familiar Cube-like entity reached a reported height of 102,000 feet and (according to the results obtained) verified that the extreme cold doesn’t affect flash memory a whole lot.

After posting a few photos in the accompanying thread, DrForester was urged to let Valve know about this scientific enterprise. He did so, and today returned to the thread with pictures of some nice freebies the company had sent his way; a t-shirt and replica Portal gun (signed by Gabe Newell) and signed (again, by Gabe) versions of the space photos for the whole team involved.

valve gifts


So there you go. Any time you’re planning on using Valve-related images in your science project, perhaps dressing as Gordon Freeman while you solve the conundrum of Nuclear Fission or something, it’s worth letting them know about it.

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