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Angry Birds go to Mars, make first contact with astronaut pig

The latest update in the birds' space-race brings on 20 levels of Red Planet goodness.! (It just never gets old.)! (It just never gets old.) Rovio

It seems like only yesterday that Angry Birds blasted into space. Now it seems they've made contact with Martians.

Well, sort of. Rovio, in partnership with NASA (no, really), just released a new "Red Planet" update for Angry Birds Space (Android | iOS).

The episode comes as part of a free update that went live yesterday in the App Store and Google Play store.

In these 20 new levels, the pigs have hijacked the Curiosity Mars Rover. As always, it's up to the birds to save the day.

Speaking of which, Red Planet introduces no new fowl to fling, but Rovio has created a new astronaut pig. Also on tap: two new "antenna egg" levels.

The update promises to let you "dodge explosive volcanoes and fire asteroids," and if you find the three hidden rovers and landers, you'll unlock even more bonus levels.

The catch, of course, is that you have to play through (i.e. unlock) all the previous episodes (including the most recent addition, Utopia) before you can tackle this mission to Mars. So get flinging!