The revelation left a burning question unresolved: what about the six earlier pings, which had been exchanged between the aircraft and the satellite about once per hour? Could any position data be deduced from them?
Today, Inmarsat revealed some crucial information. “The ping timings got longer,” Inmarsat spokesman Chris McLaughlin stated via email. That is to say, at each stage of its journey, the aircraft got progressively farther away from the geostationary satellite’s position, located over a spot on the equator south of Pakistan, and never changed its heading in a direction that took it closer—at least for very long."