The US has shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over its airspace.
Television footage showed a small explosion before the balloon descended into water off the coast of the Carolinas.
Pentagon officials said the balloon was shot down by an F-22 fighter jet about 6 nautical miles off the coast near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The vessel was deployed in the water for recovery operations.
U.S. President Joe Biden said he wanted to drop the balloon on Wednesday, but was told the best time to do it was while it was in the sky.
“They managed to shoot it down, and I would like to add to our pilots who did it,” Mr Biden said.
A U.S. defense official said the plane was a spy balloon that China intended to use at sensitive military sites.
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The balloon was shot down by a military jet fighter from Langley, Virginia, at 2:39 p.m. local time.
The fighter jet fired a missile at the balloon, causing the balloon to crash into the sea.
“This is the first chance to successfully bring down the balloon without posing a threat to civilians,” a senior U.S. official said.
Officials said they were “confident” that the balloon was “attempting to monitor sensitive sites” and that they would “try to recover it”.
Balloons fly between 60,000 and 65,000 feet.
U.S. officials said the debris was spread over a seven-mile radius.
Mr Biden has warned the US “to take care of” The spacecraft was spotted again on Saturday — this time over North Carolina.
The United States has previously been hesitant to launch balloons because of the risk that falling debris would pose to people on the ground.
The action comes after flights at three airports, including Myrtle Beach International Airport in South Carolina, were suspended due to “national security efforts,” the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.
The discovery of the balloon has sparked tensions and a diplomatic row between the United States and China.
China, however, insists the balloon was used for meteorological and other scientific research and was blown off course.
The object is believed to have flown over the Aleutian Islands, not far from the coast Alaskaand pass Canada before entering the US earlier this week.