The news cycle may have finally moved on, but there are still few answers to the question of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. On Tuesday, the Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia and satellite communications company Inmarsat announced that they would publicly release the data investigators used to track the missing plane to the southern Indian ocean. Family members of the people on Flight 370 have been calling for access to the information so that they can send it for independent analysis.
Spokesman Jonathan Sinnatt told the New York Times that Inmarsat is working with the Malaysian government to “package” the data — which includes the seven automated “pings” the aircraft sent to their satellite during its final hours in the air — so that it can be understood by the general public. “It’s literally just 14 numbers,” he explained. “It won’t make sense to anybody who doesn’t understand the technology, which is why we are now working with the investigation to put together an explanation about how you use that data and what it means.”
Meanwhile, an anonymous Inmarsat employee responded to outside scientists’ suggestion that their analysis of the data was somehow flawed. “I think there are a lot of well-meaning people out there who have made some very flawed attempts at doing the analysis, but they unfortunately haven’t understood the basic elements,” he said, adding that he “[expected] a lot of these people will try and run the data” once it’s out there. Somebody better let Courtney Love know that this is happening.