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Raw satellite data on MH370 to be released Tuesday

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Raw satellite data about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be released Tuesday, a Malaysian official said Monday.

Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein made the comments about the data from satellite company Inmarsat as he toured a newly constructed terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Families of the passengers on board the plane, which disappeared in March over Southeast Asia while carrying 239 people, have been demanding that the raw data be made public.

The fate of the plane and those on board has become one of the great aviation mysteries of modern times.

Inmarsat, the company whose satellites communicated with the missing plane in its last hours, had said it didn’t have the authority to release the data.

But last week, Inmarsat and Malaysian authorities said they were trying to make the raw data accessible.

“In line with our commitment towards greater transparency, all parties are working for the release of the data communication logs and the technical description of the analysis for public consumption,” Inmarsat and the Malaysian aviation officials said in a joint statement.

Publication of the raw satellite data could allow for independent analysis of what happened on March 8, the day the Boeing 777 veered sharply off its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and dropped off radar screens.

Analysts have said the data could help discount some theories about what happened to the jetliner, and potentially fuel new ones.

Malaysia and Australia, the two countries at the forefront of the search, have said that an analysis by international experts of all the available information — including the satellite data — leads them to conclude that the plane ended up in the southern Indian Ocean.

But months of searching above and below the surface of the ocean has so far failed to find any physical trace of the missing passenger jet.

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