The photos show operations off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday.
The U.S. Navy on Tuesday released the first close-up photos of operations to recover parts of the Chinese surveillance balloon shot down on Saturday.
The photos show debris recovery efforts on Sunday off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Navy said.
They depict what appear to be evening and nighttime efforts to retrieve the large balloon that the Pentagon has said was about 200-feet tall.
Divers were working to retrieve other parts of the balloon’s payload assembly — estimated to be the size of three buses — that likely sunk to the bottom in about 45 feet of water in the area.
Officials have said the debris field is approximately the size of 15 football fields by 15 football fields and that the balloon had propellers and a rudder.
The Pentagon has said FBI experts were aboard recovery vessels and a senior government official has said pieces would be brought to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis.
Two U.S. officials have confirmed that most if not all of the balloon’s fabric that was floating on the surface has been recovered from the surface in the search area. It’s possible that other pieces may end up washing ashore but for now what they’ve seen has been picked up.
On Monday, NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck told reporters that the Navy’s Pathfinder vessel, equipped with side-scan radar, was being used to see what was on the ocean floor. One official says that the payload portion of the balloon that was carrying the sensor/photography equipment is not intact and that only a portion of it has been located on the ocean floor. Only a very small portion of this payload was recovered from the surface water, the official said, noting that this description of the payload does not include the solar panels.