Hopes for finding the flight recorder have dwindled after the last signals received from the black box were transmitted on April 8, leading searchers to believe its batteries had finally given out.

The Bluefin-21 can create a ‘map’ of the ocean floor, and will search areas that the signals from the black box were heard coming from last week.

Each Bluefin-21 mission will last 24 hours. 16 hours will be spent searching the sea bed, it will take four hours to dive down and resurface, and another four hours for all the data gathered to be downloaded.

As reported on the BBC website, Air Chief Marshal Houston said it wasn’t guaranteed that the underwater search could lead to anything – warning the process could be ‘painstaking’.

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