US Navy has started collecting remnants of the Chinese balloon that was shot down, in a dramatic spy saga that has further strained American-Chinese relations. Images of the Chinese balloon debris were released by the US Navy.
The US Navy is using underwater drones, warships and inflatable vessels to retrieve all of the pieces from the balloon, AFP reported.
The U.S. military fighter aircraft shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floated off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.
The images show sailors leaning over an inflatable boat and pulling large sections of the balloon's white outer fabric and shell structure from the water.
According to a CNN report, the debris recovered is being taken to an FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis as the US looks to understand the capabilities of the balloon.
On Monday, Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), told CNN that the balloon was roughly 200 feet tall and carried a payload weighing more than a couple of thousand pounds.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden defended the decision to wait until the balloon had crossed the country to down it, saying the Defence Department concluded that it was best to do so over water. "Once it came over the United States from Canada, I told the Defence Department I wanted to shoot it down as soon as it was appropriate," Mr Biden told AFP. "They concluded we should not shoot it down over land. It was not a serious threat and we should wait 'til it got [over] the water."