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Chinese surveillance balloon in US airspace causes international stir

China has confirmed that a massive high-altitude balloon seen over Montana this week was an uncrewed Chinese airship.

The balloon was spotted near Billings, Montana, on Wednesday (Feb. 1) as it appeared to be hovering stationary (opens in new tab), high in the sky. On Thursday (Feb. 2), U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) confirmed that they had detected and are tracking a “high-altitude surveillance balloon (opens in new tab)” over the continental United States. NORAD stated the balloon poses no physical or military threat to anyone on the ground, according to Cmdr. Gen. Glen VanHerck.

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