Now five weeks into the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the batteries on the all-important black box recorder are thought to be dead.

No new electronic pings have been detected since Tuesday by an Australian ship dragging a U.S. Navy device that listens for flight recorder signals. Once officials are confident that no more sounds will be heard, a robotic submersible will be sent down to slowly scour for wreckage."

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, there were fears that the black box recorder, which is said to generally have a battery life of 30 days, would stop sending transmissions after a certain point and further complicate the already protracted search. Now 37 days into the hunt for MH370, the black box had already outlived its projected lifespan.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned on Friday that signals picked up during the search in the remote southern Indian Ocean, believed to be "pings" from the black box recorders, were fading."

In the meantime, the search for the missing Boeing 777 continued today with air and sea crews combing the south Indian Ocean.

Up to nine military aircraft, one civil aircraft and 14 ships were scouring a 41,393 sq km (25,720 sq mile) patch of desolate ocean some 2,330 km (1,445 miles) northwest of Perth."

The MH370 saga has become the most expensive search and rescue operation in aviation history.