Viking 1 shuts down

VikingAfter over six years of continuous operation and data gathering on the planet Mars, the Viking 1 lander – having outlived the power supply aboard its orbiter and now transmitting its observations directly to Earth – is inadvertently silenced during what is intended to be a remote upgrade of its on-board software. Ground controllers are never able to establish contact with Viking 1 again. Its record of continuous operation on another planet is not broken until 2010, when Viking 1 is outlasted by NASA’s Opportunity rover.