March 30, 2014— -- More than three weeks have passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China. In spite of a massive international search for the plane, now believed to have likely crashed in to the Indian Ocean, there has been no tangible clue of the plane's whereabouts.
Earlier this week the search area for the plane was shifted 700 miles north of the previous area after new information from satellites revealed the plane was likely flying at a faster speed than previously thought.
Here's a rundown of what we know about the search for the vanished jetliner.
Crews Comb through New Search Area
- An underwater pinger locater will be attached to the Australian warship the Ocean Shield and towed through the search area in the hope that it can lead crews to find the black boxes. The locater will have to be within one mile of the pinger to locate the device.
- The new search area is located 700 miles north of the previously designated search area and is approximately the size of New Mexico.
- The black boxes are designed to automatically ping after an underwater crash, however, the manufacturer only guarantees the battery will last for 30 days, which means it could stop pinging as early as next week.
- Objects have been spotted in the ocean, but so far all debris taken aboard ships to be analyzed was found to be unrelated to the plane. Australian Navy Commodore Peter Leavy told reporters that the new search area lies in a shipping lane where trash is common.
- U.S. Navy Captain Mark Matthews, the supervisor of U.S. Navy Salvage and Diving, has arrived in Perth with his team to help with the investigation.
- The ocean in the new search area is shallower in some areas than the previous designated area. The sea floor where the majority of the wreck is believed to be is described as mostly flat.
The Passengers and Their Families
The Associated Press contributed to this article.