When NASA’s new spacecraft, Orion, made its maiden voyage last week, it completed its successful 4.5-hour trip running on a 12-year-old processor and a computer that’s far from state-of-the-art.

So how did NASA’s engineers make this old technology work for them in the rigors of space?

Testing. Testing. Testing.

“It was a very good flight,” Matt Lemke, NASA’s deputy manager for Orion’s avionics, power and software team, said Tuesday. “It was as good as it could have gone…. The way we achieved that is by testing. We put our system together and we put it in the right environment and tested it in all directions to give ourselves the confidence it was going to work.”

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