After days of letting a Chinese surveillance balloon with a payload as big as three school buses drift over the United States unaccosted, the U.S. military finally shot it down Saturday when it reached the waters of the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of North and South Carolina.
A mission was launched after the balloon was destroyed to try to recover the debris.
The Biden administration said it didn't shoot the balloon down sooner because debris could have hit someone and hurt or killed them.
Biden will no doubt brag about shooting the balloon down at his State of the Union speech this week, but the fact is that the balloon passed over many rural areas where the risk of hitting someone would not have been great.
Civilians were warned not to try to shoot it down on their own, though some wanted to.
Flying at 60,000 feet, no rifle could have brought it down anyway.