The Chinese spy balloon that traversed the continental United States in January collected sensitive data from military sites, according to a new report.
The spy balloon, which entered Idaho airspace on Jan. 31, after floating over Alaska and Canada, was not shot down until it reached the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4. Along its journey, it collected electronic signals from communications and weapons systems at bases, senior U.S. officials told NBC News.
The balloon made figure-eight movements over bases, demonstrating that China had control over the device’s path. Officials said the balloon increased its speed once its existence was made public.
The report comes after President Joe Biden claimed the Chinese incursion was "not a major breach." The Biden administration took fire for allowing the spy balloon, which the United States knew about from the moment it took off in China, to cross over the entire country.
After the delayed response to the spy balloon, the Biden administration spent more than $1.6 million shooting down harmless objects, including a balloon possibly belonging to a group of hobbyists that cost under $20.