MH370 satellite data to be revealed soon

Satellite information may help answer questions by critics

KUALA LUMPUR – After months of clamoring, the MH370 raw satellite data that families have been demanding may soon be publicized, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Until now, Inmarsat – the company whose satellites communicated with the missing plane in its last hours – has declined to release it. But on Tuesday, Inmarsat and Malaysian authorities said they were trying to make the raw data accessible.

“In line with our commitment towards greater transparency, all parties are working for the release of the data communication logs and the technical description of the analysis for public consumption,” Inmarsat and the Malaysian aviation officials said in a joint statement.

“It must also be noted that the data communication logs is just one of the many elements of the investigation information,” the officials said. The statement did not say when the information would be released. But publication of the raw satellite data could allow for independent analysis of what happened March 8, the day Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people on board.

Some relatives of passengers weren't sure what to make of the announcement. “Their intentions have to be backed by actions, so I’d like to wait to see when that really happens,” said KS Narendran, whose wife was on the plane. “Secondly, it’s just one piece of the whole amount of data that has been used to conduct the search,” he said.

Earlier, Malaysia's acting transportation minister said the government asked Inmarsat to publicize the satellite data. Last week, Malaysian officials said that their government did not have the raw data. But Inmarsat officials said the company provided all of it to Malaysian officials at an early stage in the search.

Whenever the information comes out, it may help answer questions by critics who are skeptical about where officials have been searching for the plane. Some scientists studying the disappearance and relatives of those on board have become increasingly critical about the lack of public information about why the search has focused on the southern Indian Ocean.

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