Angry Birds to ride Russian rockets into space, follow iPads bound for bored cosmonauts

Slingshots and unbridled rage might be enough to launch Rovio's furious fowl across the battlefield, but they'll need some outside help if they hope to break free of Earth's atmosphere -- it's time to call the cosmonauts. Two upcoming Russian space launches are scheduled to ferry a pair of iPads and a plush Angry Birds toy to the International Space Station. The twin tablets will fly on an unmanned resupply vehicle early next week, and the irritated avian is playing the part of a jocular gravity indicator in a manned mission next month -- part of a russian tradition of hanging a toy by a string to signal when the vessel has escaped the Earth's gravity. NASA told collectSPACE that the iPads are only slated for recreational purposes, but mentioned that various tablets were being evaluated for future use. The plush bird? It's coming home; cosmonaut Shkaplerov's five year old daughter can't be expected to give up her toys forever, can she?