The Pentagon is revealing new details about the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean last week. Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command, told reporters that the balloon was about 200 feet tall and was carrying a payload the size of a regional jetliner, and weighed more than 2,000 pounds.
When the balloon was shot down by an F-22 fighter jet armed with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Carolinas, creating a debris field several miles wide.
VanHerck said that naval ships have secured the area and are mapping the seabed to locate debris. While VanHerck could not confirm if the balloon was equipped with explosives, demolition technicians are using unmanned submarines to scan for any potentially hazardous debris.
VanHerck noted that the decision not to shoot down the balloon immediately after it was spotted flying over Montona gave the military time to examine it as it floated across the country.
"Because the President decided they wouldn't shoot it down until he could do so safely, and that meant over water, that afforded us a terrific opportunity to gain a better understanding, to study the capabilities of this balloon," VanHerck said.
As debris is recovered from the crash site, it is being shipped to an FBI processing lab in Quantico, Virginia, a senior government official told Fox News.