Comment: This CNN report answers a lot of questions about the Chinese surveillance balloon the USAF shot down last week and the three UFOs shot down, so far, this week. Chuck Shumer was told by the IC that two of the later UFOs were balloons. I assume the last one was also a balloon. This is not a new program for China or others. There are videos on YouTube of hobbyists attaching GoPro cameras and GPS devices to weather balloons and taking near space video. I’ve found at least two US private companies specializing in near space, Near Space Labs and Near Space Corporation. I’m sure there are more.
China’s definition of near space seems to be pretty broad. Two of those balloons were shot down at 40,000 feet and the last was at 20,000. By any stretch, that’s US airspace. But what is near space? Is it from 60,000 feet or so to the Kármán line? Are there any UN or international rules governing or even defining near space? It now seems clear that we consider near space above US territory as US airspace. NORAD is responsible for monitoring near space although they’ve apparently missed any ambient temperature object in near space moving at slow speed. Judging by the way NORAD lost track of the last balloon over Montana until it was shot down over Lake Huron, we have a way to go before we can effectively track these things. Time to fiddle with the algorithms a little more. Will it be the Air Force or Space Force that will be responsible for developing effective A2/AD technology to deal with this threat? Clearly, there’s work to be done to close the balloon gap.