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Angry Birds Space blasts off today (+video)

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Rovio

(Read caption) Angry Birds Space, the newest Angry Birds title from Rovio, launches today.

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Angry Birds Space, the latest installment in Rovio's best-selling puzzle game series, arrives today – with an extra boost from NASA.

In a preview video posted by Rovio (and embedded below), astronaut and engineer Don Pettit delivers a brief tutorial on the science behind the Angry Birds series, which debuted in early 2010, and went on to rack up hundreds of millions of downloads on iPhones, Androids, and Facebook.

"If you understand physics, it will allow you to go and get a neat job. Sort of like mine," Petit says, from his perch at the International Space Station, more than 240 miles above earth. 

Angry Birds has long attracted the interest of professional geeks. In Atlanta, for instance, a ninth-grade teacher used Angry Birds to explain the laws of physics to his students. Meanwhile, the team at Wired's physics blog has spent a good deal of time analyzing the accuracy of the science used in the Rovio title (it's pretty accurate, it turns out). 

And now, the video from Pettit. In an interview with the AFP, Rovio rep Tiina Mikkonen said the company had been "working with NASA for quite a while already and they're very keen in cooperating with us... They've been helping us with all the physics-related questions around space and gravity." Hard to think of a better endorsement than that: A real astronaut, shilling a game about an army of spacebound fictional birds and their porcine foes. 

Speaking of which, Angry Birds Space will be available on Apple and Android devices and on the PC. The game ships with 60 levels, Rovio said, all of which take place in orbit. We'll get you a review as soon as we've had some hands-on time. 

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