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The Moon’s a Balloon

“What is success? It is a toy balloon among children armed with pins”

In the last few days, U.S. jet fighters have intercepted four balloons and popped them. Although the military has not officially admitted it, all four appear to be balloons equipped with electronics for spying. It is possible that we will never know, as what they manage to find is probably a military secret.

President Biden’s decision to bring these devices down is in sharp contrast to Trump, who let three or four such devices float over the U.S. during his régime without bringing it to anyone’s attention. Typically, he was full of anti-Chinese bluster—bluster, that did not translate into action.

We know that the Chinese have launched a number of spy satellites. Why, I wonder, did they feel it was necessary to supplement their findings with such a low-tech device as a balloon? Is it possible that their spy satellites did not produce satisfactory information? Were the Chinese balloons self-propelled? Or did they just drift any which where at the mercy of the winds? I doubt we’ll ever know.