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Thursday, July 31, 2014, 6:38 p.m.
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After long wait, Malaysia releases jet data

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 27, 2014 at 9:15 a.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Close to three months after the Malaysian jetliner disappeared, the government Tuesday released reams of raw satellite data it used to determine that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, a step long demanded by the families of some of the passengers on board.

But while the 45 pages of information may help satisfy a desire for more transparency in a much criticized investigation, experts say it's unlikely to solve the mystery of Flight 370 — or give much comfort to relatives stuck between grieving and the faintest hope, no matter how unlikely, their loved ones might still be alive.

"It's a whole lot of stuff that is not very important to know," said Michael Exner, a satellite engineer who has been independently researching the calculations. "There are probably two or three pages of important stuff, the rest is just noise. It doesn't add any value to our understanding."

He and others said the needed assumptions, algorithms and metadata to validate the investigators' conclusion were not there.

The release of the information came as the underwater hunt for the jet is poised to pause until later in the summer while new, powerful sonar equipment is obtained, a sign of just how difficult it will be to locate the jet and finally get some answers on how it went missing with 239 people on board.

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