Many have suggested that the Air Force should have just shot down the balloon using a laser or bullets to pop the Chinese balloon, instead of a missile. The reason that the fly boys used a missile is because popping a rogue balloon has been tried before, and it doesn’t work.
It was 25 years ago when the Canadians shot a balloon full of 1,000 holes and they found that this didn’t pop it, because the pressure inside of a balloon at that altitude isn’t high enough to burst the balloon.
Now you know…
On a side note, I was surprised that an AIM-9, which is a heat seeking missile, was capable of locking on to something like a helium balloon.