A Chinese spy balloon was spotted flying over the U.S. earlier this year, and new evidence points toward the balloon being “able to capture imagery and collect signals intelligence from U.S. military sites,” according to CNN.

What could the Chinese spy balloon do?

A source revealed to CNN that the balloon was capable of transmitting intel “back to Beijing in real time,” and they aren’t sure if China could erase the data, leaving U.S. officials wondering if China still has information the U.S. doesn’t know it has.

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China could control how the balloon moves and “it could make multiple passes over some of the sites (at times flying figure-eight formations)” and officials believe the information was “mostly from electronic signals, which can be picked up from weapons systems,” NBC News reported.

The balloon also had the ability to “self-destruct,” but it’s unclear whether China decided against destroying it or if there was some type of technical malfunction, according to NBC News.

What’s the timeline of the Chinese spy balloon?

On Feb. 4, President Joe Biden ordered the U.S. military to shoot the balloon down off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The balloon was spotted flying at a high enough altitude that often doesn’t activate censors over Montana earlier in the week.

China responded to the actions arguing the balloon was a weather balloon gathering meteorological information and threatened to “take further actions” and that its response would be in regard to “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice,” The Associated Press reported.

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