QUOTE (edstrick @ Apr 28 2006, 07:04 AM)
Note that while VL-1 was apparently lost due to a command error, telemetry downloaded during periodic "continuation automatic mission" (I think that was the term) indicated battery failure was immanent. VL-2 was declared effectively dead when it suffered battery failure and attempts to run the tape recorder to playback data resulted in an undervoltage and spacecraft safing. Very shortly later, VO-1 died and VL-2 lost it's link to Earth. (Both direct-to-earth transmitters on VL-2 had failed).
VL-1 probably ended up in the same state, possibly during the recovery commanding attempts after command error (probably) screwed up antenna pointing during automatic downlink attempts.
So those old rumors about NASA purposely messing with the
Viking 1 lander to make it shut off and thus save money (there
was talk back then about it working until 1994) were just rumors?
I recall the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum setting up
a monitor display to show images sent back from Viking 1 that
either never happened or quickly went away after the lander
shut down permanently.