New Horizons Pluto probe powered by original PlayStation processor

Matthew Jarvis
New Horizons Pluto probe powered by original PlayStation processor

There are a lot of things that ran on the first PlayStation – Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, Crash Bandicoot. But what about an interplanetary space probe?

Well, thanks to NASA, Sony's inaugural games hardware has taken one bold three-billion mile step for man.

That's because the space agency repurposed the console's MIPS R3000 CPU for use in its New Horizons probe.

That's right, the very same probe that snapped those pretty pictures of Pluto circulating the internet earlier this week.

Launched in 2006, the New Horizons probe utilised the R3000 to control thrusters, track sensors and beam data back home to Earth. (Thanks to The Verge for the details.)

Although the PlayStation's two successors, the PS2 and PS3, had themselves been launched by New Horizons' blast-off, the older components were favoured for their reliability. After all, they had to be able to survive a nine-year trip through space at speeds of more than 36,000 miles per hour.

So if your original PlayStation is still running, there's probably a good reason why.

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