NASA has joined international search operations to trace the missing Malaysian aircraft by analysing satellite data and images gathered since the plane with 239 people aboard vanished from radar screens a week ago.
The world’s premier space agency on Monday began examining ways it can contribute to the search for missing Flight MH370.
“Activities under way include mining data archives of satellite data acquired earlier and using space-based assets, such as the Earth-Observing-1(EO-1) satellite and the ISERV camera on the International Space Station, to acquire new images of possible crash sites,” said Allard Beutel, spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“The resolution of images from these instruments could be used to identify objects of about 98 feet (30 meters) or larger,” he told Space.com.
The space agency will be sending relevant data to the US Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observations and Science Hazard Data Distribution System, which facilitates the sharing of information whenever the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is activated, Beutel said.
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NASA’s ISERV camera system was launched in July 2012 to observe “specific areas of the globe for disaster analysis and environmental studies,” the space agency said.
The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 mysteriously disappeared from radar screens an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 7.
Despite massive search operations involving the navies and military aircraft from 13 countries, there has been no trace of the missing jet.
Malaysia on Friday widened its search in the Indian Ocean for the plane and sought radar data from its neighbours and India. The missing jetliner was carrying 227 passengers, including five Indians and one Indian-origin Canadian, and 12 crew members.