Mar 14, 2014 02:28 PM EDT
Malaysia Airlines Missing Plane UPDATE: NASA Officially Joins Search For MH370 Flight
Since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared mysteriously, theories have flown left and right, but now NASA will join the effort to obtain concrete evidence and ultimately find the plane.
NASA began exploring ways it could aid the search effort since March 10, Space.com reported, three days after the plane took off. In the middle of its flight, the Boeing 777 plane and its 239 passengers disappeared for unknown reasons and has yet to be found.
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"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 in a written statement. "The resolution of images from these instruments could be used to identify objects of about 98 feet (30 meters) or larger."
After numerous radar blips and other clues have led nowhere, investigators from 13 different countries have the suspicion of foul play in the backs of their minds.
FlightRadar24.com tracks live air traffic and monitors about 120,000 flights per day. The site's co-founder Mikael Robertsson told the Los Angeles Times "somebody did something deliberate" to make the plane disappear.
"If you asked me six days ago what happened, I'd say the plane probably broke apart," he said. "But now they've been searching with 100 boats and aircraft and they've found nothing, which is pointing more to the theory that somebody flew the plane in another direction."
A source who wished to remain anonymous told Reuters Friday that sabotage and hijacking are on the minds of Malaysian investigators.
"What we can say is we are looking at sabotage, with hijack still on the cards," said the source, a senior Malaysian police official.
One piece of evidence pointing to an intentional act is the fact that the plane's transponder was turned off 40 minutes after takeoff. Robertsson told the LAT the only thing that makes the transponder turn off is if someone did it deliberately or in the event of the plane's destruction.
Reuters' sources have indicated that the search will soon be shifted to the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean in light of new evidence.
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Investigators agree that if the plane did not crash, someone had to have turned off the plane's communication systems, which indicates foul play. No one will have any answers until the plane or its debris are located, a search NASA hopes to help end.