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Robotic Submarine Takes Over Search For Missing Malaysian Plane07:37

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A robotic submarine known as the Bluefin 21 is heading to the depths of the Indian Ocean today, where it will troll the ocean floor in search of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared 38 days ago.

The unmanned vehicle moves at walking pace and can create a three-dimensional sonar map of any debris detected. The launch of Bluefin 21 comes after crews picked up a series of underwater "pings" over the past two weeks that were consistent with sounds that could be emitted by the plane's black boxes.

The submarine, which has been called painstakingly slow, will take 24 hours to complete each of its missions, including two hours to return to dive and two hours to return to the surface. Each dive will cover about 15 square miles.

Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson talks to the one of the submarine's creators, David Kelly of Bluefin Robotics.


This segment aired on April 14, 2014.

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