Officials said the first spy balloon that traveled across the US fell six miles off the coast of South Carolina in waters about 47 feet deep.
They noted that a proper salvage vessel won’t be on the scene for days as the race is on to secure the wreckage
The use of the U-2S was first reported by The War Zone.
The single-seat, single-engine planes were first launched in 1955, and even today are widely seen as the most difficult aircraft in the world to fly.
Pilots must wear a full pressure suit similar to those worn by astronauts, and landing is extremely precarious, due to limited visibility thanks to the plane’s long nose.
‘The U-2 is capable of gathering a variety of imagery, including multi-spectral electro-optic, infrared, and synthetic aperture radar products which can be stored or sent to ground exploitation centers,’ the Air Force states.
‘In addition, it also supports high-resolution, broad-area synoptic coverage provided by the optical bar camera producing traditional film products which are developed and analyzed after landing.’
The United States air force has 33 U-2S, based at the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California.