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Original PlayStation CPU Guides NASA Space Probe to Pluto

July 16, 2015 Written by Mark Labbe

New Horizons Space Probe

The space probe “New Horizons” recently reached Pluto and snapped some pictures of the dwarf planet, partly thanks to the same CPU that powered the original PlayStation consoles.

Put into PlayStation consoles back in 1994, the MIPS R3000 CPU was repurposed by NASA in 2006 to allow them to guide the New Horizons space probe to Pluto. The CPU allows the probe to work its thrusters, gather data, and then transmit that data back to Earth.

Apparently, NASA prefers to use older pieces of hardware that are known to be reliable. Still, it is funny to think that the processor that allowed us to play Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Resident Evil 2, and many other games is now powering a high-tech NASA space probe.

[Source: The Verge]