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The astronaut who plays Angry Birds in space
The world's favorite feathered video-game projectiles are back — and this time they're getting a boost from NASA 
NASA astronaut Don Pettit gives an Angry Birds demo aboard the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Don Pettit gives an Angry Birds demo aboard the International Space Station.
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he video: Game-maker Rovio is taking its best-selling franchise into the final frontier. In Angry Birds in Space, the feathered projectiles are still as mad as ever, but they fly differently in zero-gravity. To help explain the game's mind-bending physics, its creators enlisted NASA astronaut Don Pettit aboard the International Space Station to detail some of the birds' weirder new trajectories. (Watch the live demo below.) "We've got to see all of this in a weightless environment, which is what the Angry Birds in Space game is going to be like with gravity fields from planetary bodies," he says. Instead of flying out in a straight line, for instance, birds slung from a slingshot will curve around a gravitational body — kind of like a rocket flying around Earth. "And if you understand the math and understand the physics, it will allow you to go out and get a neat job," he says. "A job sort of like mine." The game will be available for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC starting March 22.

The reaction: This may be the best video this year, says Chelsea Stark at Mashable, at least if you're an Angry Birds fan and space geek. And if the "gorgeously drawn" graphics are any indication, this is a whole new kind of game. Yes, but bringing sweeping changes to the original's physics engine is "a bolder step than one would imagine," says Sven Grundberg at The Wall Street Journal. Part of the first title's "immense satisfaction" was, according to scientists, the feeling gamers "derived from an object tracing a parabolic ballist trajectory toward its target, rather than the object following a straight line of propelling itself." We'll see if this interstellar twist will be as addictive. Take a look:

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