NASA joins hunt for missing Malaysian jet

NASA joins hunt for missing Malaysian jet

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has joined the search hunt for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, which disappeared shortly after take-off from Kuala Lumpur airport.

The plane dropped off the air traffic controllers' (ATC) radar less than an hour later and the whereabouts of 227 passengers and 12 crew members still remain unknown.

"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 (ISS), to acquire new images of possible crash sites," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel was quoted as saying on Space.com.

The ISERV camera system was launched in July 2012 to observe specific areas of the globe for disaster analysis and environmental studies, NASA said.

The resolution of images from these instruments could be used to identify objects of about 98 feet (30 metres) or larger.

NASA would send relevant data to the US Geological Survey's earth resources observations and science hazard data distribution system.

This system facilitates the sharing of information whenever the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is activated.

The charter - which aims to mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters by streamlining the delivery of space-acquired data - was activated by China March 11.

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