Would you put your trust in a spacecraft that had the same hardware as a games console? Well, that’s exactly what NASA have done with their New Horizons spacecraft. It actually uses the same MIPS R3000 processor that the Sony PlayStation One did!
We all remember the first generation of the PlayStation. The PlayStation One, despite not being that old in the grand scheme of things, feels generations behind what we’re currently using. However, when the New Horizons Spacecraft was first launched the PlayStation One was not that old. It appears NASA didn’t think it was too bad either, opting to use the same processor to power their spacecraft. It’s slightly modified though, being a radiation-hardened version to cope with the mysteries and surprises of space.
The games console that’s basically powering the New Horizons spacecraft…
So how good is the R3000 processor you ask? Well it’s a 32-bit CPU and clocks in at an impressive 12MHz… Not something capable of powering today’s consoles. It did very well at powering Crash Bandicoot though. It’s also apparently quite good at sending a spacecraft 3 billion miles through space.
The spacecraft in question has more or less reached its destination, and you can check out the close-up pictures of Pluto that it sent back the other day by clicking here.