Satellite data from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 released - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Satellite data from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 released

The Australian vessel Ocean Shield had been employed in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. (Source: Australia Defence Force) The Australian vessel Ocean Shield had been employed in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. (Source: Australia Defence Force)

(RNN) - Satellite data about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was released on Tuesday.

The 47-page document contains the data that experts used to conclude that the southern Indian Ocean was the plane's final destination.

The plane disappeared en route to Beijing, China, after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 8 local time. The flight was carrying 239 people, including three Americans, and gave no signals of distress before losing communication.

No trace of the missing plane has yet been found.

Families of passengers on board have been pushing for release of the data.

Satellite company Inmarsat, in conjunction with Malaysian officials, released the data to the public to facilitate transparency.

The release comes as Australian officials said the underwater search for the plane was effectively put on hold until August while new search drones are contracted.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau plans for "an intensified underwater search of a 60,000 square kilometer area — roughly the size of Tasmania," Martin Dolan, the chief commissioner, said in an official blog post.

In preparation for that, the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen has been mapping the ocean floor, and will be joined by another survey vessel in June.

Once started, the underwater search will take up to a year to complete.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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