Satellite images from France, China, Australia and future ones from NASA satellites are part of the search to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, according to CNN.com. France also is adding a few planes to join the international search effort in the southern Indian Ocean near Australia. Now into its third week, the search for the missing Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard has intensified after the release of 2 recent Chinese and Australian satellite images of floating debris in the area. The U.S. Navy P-8 Poseiden also returns to search the area located more than 1400 miles west of Perth, Australia.
On Sunday, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced the French also had a satellite image of possible plane debris in the southern Indian Ocean. On Saturday, Hussein also reported a Chinese satellite image taken on March 18th. The Chinese satellite image shows an object to be 74 feet X 43 feet and 75-77 miles away from the location of Australian satellite image.
Last Sunday, the Australian Prime Minister announced a satellite image showed 2 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean that could be part of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. One is a 79-foot piece of debris on the satellite photo. It is located approximately 1,4000 miles west of Perth, Australia.
“If there’s anything down there, we will find it, ” said Tony Abbott, Australian Prime Minister last week.
A Norwegian cargo ship’s crew briefly joined the sea search. Ships and military planes from Australia, the United States Navy, China, New Zealand, Japan and Great Britain have been dispatched to that area of the Indian Ocean. After more than 3 days of searching there, the possible plane debris in the reported satellite images has not been found nor identified as wreckage from Flight 370. Aviation experts on plane crashes warn the search could be long and unproductive for a long time. The Australian-led search has faced difficult, poor weather conditions with a short 2-hour window of searching the area of the satellite images, according to NBC News. The search planes are in need of refueling after 4 hours of flying to reach the search area to increase search time.
Contact was lost with the plane on March 8th. On March 8th, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia with 227 passengers and 12 crew members. The Boeing 777 was headed to Beijing, China. The plane unexpectedly changed course. Flight 370 was tracked, making a west or U-turn during its flight. Satellites also have picked up pings from the missing plane.
Time also is running out for finding the box containing flight data and cockpit-voice recorders. That box has batteries that send out pings for 30 days. Satellites have picked up pings from Flight 370 after it disappeared.
“Evidence is consistent with someone acting deliberately from inside the plane,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak last Saturday, CNN.com reports. It’s believed Flight 370’s communications system was deliberately shut off.
National news media report flight 370’s computer system was tampered with from inside the cockpit. The timeline of the communication between the cockpit crew and air traffic controllers has been updated, too. Most of the missing passengers are Chinese. Some are Americans and from other countries. China’s officials checked their backgrounds and found no connections to terrorists. Anguished, frustrated relatives in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia and Beijing are growing impatient with search efforts by Malaysian officials and anxious for any information about their relatives on board the missing plane.
Last week, the Malaysian Transport Minister told reporters that Malaysian officials received background information on the onboard passengers from all countries, except Russia and Ukraine. Nothing significant was found.
Radar information from Thailand and other countries also is being reviewed. “We are not at liberty to release (radar) information from other countries,” said Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysian Transport Minister, CNN reported last week.
ABC News reports the public can help find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 through free satellite images at http://www.tomnod.com/nod/challenge/malaysiaairsar2014?source and tagging anything that looks like plane wreckage, life rafts or suspicious. This search method is called “crowdsourcing.”