The U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) explained why it has not been at the forefront of dealing with the Chinese spy balloon, and other unidentified flying objects shot down in North American airspace recently.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), both headed by Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, have been leading the effort to share information about the objects, since the balloon was shot down off the South Carolina Coast on Feb. 4.
In a statement to Fox News on Feb. 14, a spokesperson for the Space Command explained that it is not taking a lead role because the objects operated outside the command’s “astrographic area of responsibility.”
“U.S. Space Command operates the most exquisite and extensive sensor network in the world,” the spokesperson said, adding that NORAD, NORTHCOM, and the Pentagon are three bodies that are the “focal point” in identifying the objects.
“While the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena are below USSPACECOM’s astrographic area of responsibility (100km+), we continue to monitor these events and provide supporting data to U.S. Northern Command,” the spokesperson added.
The Space Command declined to elaborate on what it meant about providing “supporting data,” according to the outlet.