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  NASA joins hunt for missing Malaysian jetliner

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Author Topic:   NASA joins hunt for missing Malaysian jetliner
gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 03-13-2014 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Space.com:
On Monday (March 10), NASA began examining ways it can contribute to the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff on Friday (March 7), agency officials said.

"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," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel told Space.com via email. "The resolution of images from these instruments could be used to identify objects of about 98 feet (30 meters) or larger."

...on Wednesday (March 12), however, Chinese officials announced that one of the nation's satellites had spotted a possible crash site for Flight 370.

Already out of date as the Chinese images were declared a "mistake" hours ago.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 03-13-2014 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
Already out of date as the Chinese images were declared a "mistake" hours ago.
Space.com posted an update this morning.
Three objects spotted floating in the waters northeast of Kuala Lumpur by a Chinese satellite were not parts of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared Friday (March 7), according to press reports.

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
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posted 03-13-2014 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember the Mechanical Turk / Google Earth search that was set up to look for Steve Fossett. It's a shame the same approach can't be taken for this missing commercial flight.

I still think it's an approach that could work very well to scan huge amounts of data such as images of open ocean for debris worth closer investigation.

As I remember in the Fossett case it turned out that the site of the crash was well outside the coverage of the fresh satellite images used, but my feeling is that it probably would have been spotted if the crash site had been covered.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-13-2014 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is actually a crowdsourced search for Flight 370 from DigitalGlobe.
More than 2 million people have tagged some 645,000 features so far, making this the largest Tomnod campaign in history by orders of magnitude. We have continually tasked our satellites to image the ever-widening search area and now have more than 24,000 square kilometers of imagery available for the crowd to comb through.

moorouge
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posted 03-13-2014 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Query for gliderpilotuk - If the black boxes are supposed to give out a beacon signal, why haven't they been detected? Wouldn't submarine assets hear them on sonar if underwater?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-13-2014 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the New York Times:
If the black boxes are in water, "pingers," which emit a tone, are activated. But these are audible only in a limited area. And the plane may not be in the water.

nasamad
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From: Essex, UK
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posted 03-13-2014 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was under the impression that all commercial Rolls Royce jet engines constantly updated the UK base with data regarding temps, vibration, condition etc. wonder if all engines went offline at the same time?

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
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posted 03-13-2014 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Navy forces are deploying antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capable ships and aircraft to the search area that will be used to pick up the characteristic pinging of the black boxes.

Cozmosis22
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From: Texas * Earth
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posted 03-13-2014 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nasamad:
I was under the impression that all commercial Rolls Royce jet engines constantly updated the UK base with data regarding temps, vibration, condition etc.
In the U.S., the Wall Street Journal is sticking by its initial report that the aircraft continued flying for a subsequent four hours after the onboard transponders went dark.

They say that data came via satellite from ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing & Reporting Systems); not from Rolls Royce.

crash
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From: West Sussex, England
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posted 03-13-2014 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a commercial pilot flying the B777 there is something very strange about this incident. The lack of any automatically sent data is very unusual. If something technical goes wrong with one of our 777s in flight then Engineering will know about it straight away as it is transmitted back to base.

I think more will come out over the next few days.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 03-13-2014 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by crash:
I think more will come out over the next few days.
Or, now... from ABC News:
Two U.S. officials tell ABC News the U.S. believes that the shutdown of two communication systems happened separately on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. One source said this indicates the plane did not come out of the sky because of a catastrophic failure.

The data reporting system, they believe, was shut down at 1:07 a.m. The transponder -- which transmits location and altitude -- shut down at 1:21 a.m.

This indicates it may well have been a deliberate act, ABC News aviation consultant John Nance said.

U.S. investigators told ABC News that the two modes of communication were "systematically shut down."

That means the U.S. team "is convinced that there was manual intervention," a source said, which means it was likely not an accident or catastrophic malfunction that took the plane out of the sky.

SpaceAngel
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From: Maryland
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posted 03-14-2014 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack...

alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
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posted 03-14-2014 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Martin Savage of CNN has been doing some interesting reporting today. He has been sitting in a fully active 777 flight simulator in Mississauga, Ontario with a qualified 777 pilot and has been following the exact flight path from Kuala Lumpur to the final contact point with the aircraft.

He has been showing the ease of which ATS can be shut down, however as explained the difficulties in shutting down the ACARS systems, which if his report is accurate, means that someone had to know something about the aircraft's reporting systems in order to shut them down.

It has been a very interesting report.

sev8n
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From: Dallas TX USA
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posted 03-18-2014 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
He has been showing the ease of which ATS can be shut down, however as explained the difficulties in shutting down the ACARS systems, which if his report is accurate, means that someone had to know something about the aircraft's reporting systems in order to shut them down.

According to the commercial airline pilots I know ACARS can be disabled via a simple circuit breaker pull.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
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posted 03-18-2014 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know a guy at Boeing who worked the 777 line and is working 787 stuff now. He told me that the engines send data of their own to the mfg, no pilot can turn that off. He claims that Boeing was told those engines were pinging data back for quite a while after the transponder was turned off. They apparently have altitude and speed data, but not location or direction.

LM1
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From: New York, NY USA
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posted 03-20-2014 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the black boxes are in water, "pingers," which emit a tone, are activated. But these are audible only in a limited area. And the plane may not be in the water.
It was stated on CNN that the black box ping can only be detected within 3 miles of the box.

LM1
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From: New York, NY USA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 03-20-2014 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAngel:
It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack...
CNN mentioned today that "by law" NASA cannot release its highest resolution images to the public and that they are examining very high resolution photos in private.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
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posted 03-21-2014 01:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"by law"? I was under the impression that NASA had a policy of putting all its data in the public domain.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 03-21-2014 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A quick search of CNN's transcripts from March 20 don't turn up "NASA" being said, but if the space agency was indeed mentioned it would seem to be in error. NASA isn't responsible for the images of the possible debris from Malaysia 370.

In fact, after mentioning for most of the day that the images had been blurred to avoid sharing the satellite's true capabilities, one of CNN's security analysts set the record straight:

Well, actually, we spoke tonight with two executives in the satellite industry who said that in reality the quality of the photos, the resolution of the photos those would have been shared publicly and those shared with the government would not be dramatically different in fact.

They say that the bigger difference with the quality of these photos would be the angle, whether the satellite was just overhead of the spot or somewhat further afield so that it was shooting at an angle which would be less resolution.

So, you know, and listen, it's an answer that surprised us because you and I, you know, we look at Google Earth and you can pick out practically, you know, a license plate. And you look at these images and they look so blurry. So it seems like the bigger factor here was the angle of the satellites rather than the difference between what we would see and what the searchers and the government would see.

fredtrav
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posted 03-22-2014 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CNN has reported today at least that NASA is involved in searching. Also they had an interview with Curt Newport whose company is helping with the search and possible recovery.

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 03-24-2014 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Financial Times: UK-based Inmarsat hailed for unravelling mystery of MH370 route
UK-based company Inmarsat solved the mystery of the final course taken by flight MH370 – the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that disappeared without trace two weeks ago – by a revolutionary use of satellite data.

onesmallstep
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posted 03-26-2014 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a sad and tragic story, but made more so by the slow teasing out of the information and evidence over the past two weeks. Unlike in previous airline disasters thirty or more years ago, today the automatic 'assumption' on scant or erroneous facts tends to be a sinister plot (i.e., pilot suicide; hijacking; terrorism bombing), with mechanical failure at the bottom.

The news networks have had a hand in this, and frankly, part of the blame lies with Malaysia and the other with the incessant 24/7 news cycle for any available sound bite, unverifiable or not. If it does turn out that the missing airliner is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, then the 'black boxes' will tell the tale. And if there was a massive failure, then the two pilots who have been much maligned should be praised for their selfless acts in trying to save the passengers under their watch. Only then can they, and the conspiracy theories surrounding the flight, can be laid to rest.

spaced out
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posted 03-26-2014 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the plane really did crash in the southern ocean then it could be very difficult to locate and there's a strong possibility it might never be found.

The Air France flight went down in the Atlantic pretty much where it was expected to be and yet took 2 years to find. Even then by all accounts it was a lucky find as it happened to lay on an open flat area of sea bed. Had it fallen into a ravine or gully it might never have been found.

For MH370 we have only a very rough idea of where it might have been - a huge area of remote ocean. If floating wreckage is found that might give some idea but after over two weeks drifting in open seas it won't really narrow down the crash site by much.

If the plane is found and the black boxes recovered it's important to remember that the audio only records the last 2 hours of the flight so they wouldn't hear what happened in the critical time the transponder was turned off.

Finally, I understand that it may be possible for the data and voice recorders to be disabled manually. Given that both the transponder and ACARS systems were deliberately turned off on the plane there has to be some possibility that the black box recordings were also disabled.

I certainly hope that they do find everything and get the answers to this mystery but it's worth bearing in mind the possibility that we just may never know what happened.

LM1
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posted 03-27-2014 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaced out:
Finally, I understand that it may be possible for the data and voice recorders to be disabled manually. Given that both the transponder and ACARS systems were deliberately turned off on the plane there has to be some possibility that the black box recordings were also disabled.

I have not heard anywhere that the Black Boxes can be turned off. I am wondering where you got this information.

LM1
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From: New York, NY USA
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posted 03-27-2014 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you watching CNN? Again, they just mentioned that the real high resolution photos are a "tightly held secret". The anchor asked, "Can't we take better pictures than this? Don't they have something better?"

The reply from an on-screen commentator was that the real HR photos are a "tightly held secret."

It was been repeatedly stated that they (NASA, DOD, ESA, etc.) can read a license plate from space. I think that they are referring to DRONES (UAVs), which fly well below the orbits of actual satellites. Drones can read license plates from their altitude.

In the past it was mentioned that actual Russian newspaper headlines can be read from space by spy satellites. I believe that what they mean is that satellites can see what appears to be someone holding a newspaper and that the newspaper has a large red headline. They see what appears to be a person and what appears to be a newspaper and they can see a red smear on the paper. I don't believe that a satellite photo can actually allow the viewer to read the headline.

But these are spy satellites and high- altitude drones. I am sure that such actual images ARE highly classified.

This begs the question, if NASA or DOD have such photos, can't they look carefully at them and tell us what they see without actually releasing the photos to the public?

Now some satellites can see 300 items floating in the search area. Some of the items are HUGE — 75 feet long. Can't our sophisticated satellites see any markings on a 77-foot object floating on the ocean? The answer is, they probably can, but they are withholding such information.

LM1
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posted 03-27-2014 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wolf Blitzer just reaffirmed that the photos that are released to the public are "blurred" for security purposes.

Also, there is no 24/7 coverage of the missing 777 plane on CNN or anywhere, although CNN did cover the disaster 24/7 in the beginning. Now, they are showing regular programming in addition to further coverage of the disaster.

The difference between the story of the missing 777 and the landslide disaster in Washington state is that the latter is a natural disaster. We know that caused it. We do not know what caused the 777 disappearance.

Space satellites are providing images of what appears to be parts of the plane. If there is a chance that it was caused by a failure of the systems on the plane and not a terrorist attack or pilot suicide, why are the remaining 1100 777s still flying? The answer is that most people believe that it was a deliberate act by the pilot and not a failure by the plane.

cspg
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posted 03-27-2014 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM1:
...why are the remaining 1100 777s still flying?
You can't ground so many planes unless you have analyzed the black boxes or debris. It was a deliberate act at least until the plane took a straight southern direction (from the Andaman islands), that was the consensus among French experts tonight on TV. After that turn, it's anyone's guess as to why that plane took that direction, remained on it until it ran out of fuel.

YankeeClipper
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posted 04-05-2014 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UK SkyNews are leading with the possible detection by Chinese ship Haixun 01 of a 37.5kHz pulse signal emanating from a data recorder in the Southern Indian Ocean.

LM1
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posted 04-05-2014 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since initial sightings weeks ago of very large items (some 75-feet long) in the Southern Indian Ocean by numerous observation satellites from many countries there has been silence. Why? Are the items still there or did the items disappear? Also, specifically which satellites are involved in the search?

All times are CT (US)

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