Chinese reconnaissance balloon: US Navy releases photos of debris collection

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The U.S. Navy, which shot down a suspected Chinese reconnaissance balloon off the East Coast on the 4th (local time), released a scene of collecting debris on the 7th.

The U.S. Fleet Forces Command posted several photos on its Facebook page showing the loading of the downed balloon onto the ship.

According to the post, soldiers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) were put in.

The collected balloon wreckage will be analyzed to determine whether it is an actual reconnaissance balloon.

The US authorities explained that the size of the balloon shot down this time is about 60m, and the lower mounted part is similar in size to a small airliner and weighs hundreds to thousands of pounds.

Meanwhile, China said, “The aircraft was for civilian use and entered US airspace for unavoidable reasons. She insists that it was purely an accident.”

On the 6th, US authorities said that the Pentagon tried to arrange a phone call between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and China’s defense secretary after the shooting down, but the Chinese side refused.

“Unfortunately, China declined our call request,” Defense Department spokesman Patrick Ryder said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the balloon discovered in US airspace led to a diplomatic crisis.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blincoln was scheduled to visit China, but canceled it with accusations of “irresponsible behavior”. It was to be the first U.S.-China high-level meeting in China in years.

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The balloon, which was shot down by a U.S. fighter jet, was recovered a day later off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Naval authorities said the wreckage was scattered in the waters 11 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean, and a total of two naval vessels, including a vessel equipped with a large crane, were deployed to retrieve it.

However, looking at the photos released this time, it seems that a person was able to pull it into the boat by hand.

Military authorities also deployed unmanned underwater search vehicles.

Experts said analysis of the wreckage would provide the United States with valuable information about China’s aerial reconnaissance technology, as well as a better understanding of the vehicle’s capabilities and information-transfer technology.

But recovering the balloon rig is complicated by potentially hazardous materials such as explosives and battery components.

On the 2nd, the Pentagon first announced that it was tracking a suspicious object, waiting until it moved safely over the sea rather than on land before shooting it down.

A local U.S. television station aired a scene where the balloon exploded small and fell into the sea.

Meanwhile, on the 3rd, the Pentagon announced that a second Chinese reconnaissance balloon had been spotted. This time, it is known that it was found in the airspace of Costa Rica and Venezuela over Latin America.

Previously, on the 3rd, the Colombian Air Force announced that it had found an object believed to be a balloon at an altitude of 55,000 feet (about 16.7 km) and tracked it until it exited its airspace.

It added that it was determined that it did not pose a threat to national security.

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Video of Chinese balloon being shot down

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