OBJECT FROM PAGE B1
kilometers) from the Canadian border, inside the Arctic Circle.
The object fell onto frozen waters and officials expected they could recover debris faster than from last week’s massive balloon.
Ryder said the object was traveling northeast when it was shot down. He said several U.S. military helicopters have gone out to begin the recovery effort.
The unknown object was shot down in an area with harsh weather conditions and about six and a half hours of daylight at this time of year. Daytime temperatures Friday were about minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).
The development came almost a week after the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America. China insisted the flyover was an accident involving a civilian craft and threatened repercussions.
Biden issued the order but had wanted the balloon downed even earlier. He was advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was over water. Military officials determined that bringing it down over land from an altitude of 60,000 feet would pose an undue risk to people on the ground.
The balloon was part of a large surveillance program that China has been conducting for “several years,” the Pentagon has said. The U.S. has said Chinese balloons have flown over dozens of countries across five continents in recent years, and it learned more about the balloon program after closely monitoring the one shot down near South Carolina.
China responded that it reserved the right to “take further actions” and criticized the U.S. for “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.”