We all know original PlayStation brought us fantastic classic games like Final Fantasy VII, the original Resident Evil, Tekken and Soul Blade. But did you know it’s also partly responsible for the New Horizon probe reaching and photographing Pluto in unprecedented detail.
That’s because NASA made use of a tweaked version of the PlayStation’s processor to “fire thrusters, monitor sensors and transmit data” in New Horizon’s build, according to The Verge.
The reason NASA chose it? Because of its proven track record and maturity – the chip had been on the market for 12 years by the time New Horizons took off on its epic journey back in 2006, and had built up a stellar performance and reliability track record in the process.
NASA, as one can imagine, is more interested in reliability than speed when it comes to the components of its spacecraft, so the 33Mhz MIPS R3000 CPU was perfect for the job. And clearly NASA’s faith was well-placed, as New Horizon finally made it to Pluto yesterday, took some hi-res snaps and beamed them back to earth for all to see.
By all accounts the probe is doing fine, and is currently rushing off to even deeper reaches of space, where no man-made vehicle has been before.
So, for all you folk out there who think that the gaming industry only caters to the juvenile in all of us:[Source – The Verge]