I’ve seen many of these comments. It is actually impossible for a civilian to shoot it down.No firearm can shoot that high. Other than something like Branson’s Space Plane, high end powerful model rockets (not the Estes kind), or another balloon, no civilian aircraft can get up that high.
I am sure the USAF has the capabilities, but then you would have both the balloon and missile wreckage coming back down to earth.
It poses no immediate threat and could even be providing counter intelligence.
This thing is a weather balloon which was intended to circle the polar region for a while. Routine and usually a more or less predictable route. And because weather is wether and balloons aren’t dirigables1) it blew off course. Maybe because of that cold air blast over Canada and the northern US. This happens all the time, but usually goes unnoticed because it has a tendency to happen in places where nobody is around to see it.
This one ventured farther south than usual, and over populated areas.
And now both China and the USA use it as, dare I say it, a test balloon politically.
And that’s all there is to it.
1) It is possible to try to influence the course somewhat by varying the altitude. Different winds at different heights. But this means releasing helium and replacing it from a very limited on-board supply. And it’s more an art than a science.
It’s so telling than she thinks “talking about how to do something” and “actually knowing how to do something” are the same thing.
Such a perfect encapsulation of her and a certain percentage of America right now. All the experts must be idiots, nobody can be smarter than Bob down at the gun range, and nobody they don’t know could possibly have good reasons for doing things differently than they think it should be done.
Yeah, I’d take that with a grain of salt. It is doubtful whether a Tu-128 ever took down a balloon. This always comes up, but the thing is that by the Tu-128 was ready it was already obsolete as the task it had been specifically developed for - shooting down nuclear bombers like the B-52 - had somewhat vanished due to ballistic missiles. (A bit like the original F-104, come to think of it.) It feels like the balloon thing was something to justify to build and maintain them. Besides, it carried a total of 4 air-to-air missiles (2 radar, 2 IR) designed to be used against large planes, and that’s it. No guns or cannons. Also very fast, extremely non-agile, and apparently very poor visibility. Definitely not designed as a dedicated balloon hunter. Which doesn’t rule out the odd lucky punch, of course.