Embedded software in military, defense and aerospace programs is on an exponential complexity curve. Yet fail-safe reliability durability and security have always been paramount for the military and aerospace sectors, which excel at building systems including significant hardware and software components. This discipline sent us to the moon, to Mars, and beyond. How can we leverage these defense industry lessons, with their focus on leading interdisciplinary communications and methodologies, augmented by today's new system and software development technologies? A JPL engineer reviews the Mars Viking 1976 program and explores the latest virtual platform technologies for embedded systems and software reliability and accelerated development.