There are plenty of questions about whether or not NASA will ever send actual astronauts to an asteroid, but in the meantime, the agency has worked with Rovio Entertainment to give Angry Birds a little asteroid exposure.
Yep, the duo that brought the world Angry Birds Space got together again to create Beak Impact, a freshened-up version of the game with 40 new levels and a whole bunch of NASA tie-ins, according to CNet. For those who don't remember, yes, that name is a play on Deep Impact, the other 1998 asteroid movie (the one that wasn't the scientifically-grotesque-but-gloriously-ridiculous Bruce Willis asteroid film, Armageddon).
Beak Impact features the titular irritated birds trying to stop pigs from mining asteroids. This sounds far-fetched and silly until you realize that right now, NASA is plotting to lasso an asteroid and bring it closer for study. Anyway, there are all kinds of fancy NASA-things tucked into the game. You can look for Deep Impact, the Orion crew vehicle, Dawn, and OSIRIS-REx. When you find the vehicles, each one links to information about the programs it's tied to. Plus, there's a fancy Buzz Aldrin bird, Mighty Buzzard.
We have to hand it to NASA, it's a clever way to totally convince lots of people (since lots of people play Angry Birds) that the agency is totally, definitely doing that whole asteroid thing in the 2020s, like it says. There's a game and everything, so it's practically already true! Of course, none of this guarantees that NASA astronauts will actually be anywhere near an asteroid anytime soon (unless NASA's asteroid-spotting program misses a big one and we get the chance to act out either Deep Impact or Armageddon in real life), but at least Angry Birds will be checking this stuff out.
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