US military tracks Santa’s global flight path and provides real-time updates
Santa Claus has embarked on his annual Christmas Eve mission to deliver presents to millions of children after a smooth take-off from his North Pole base, at least according to US military officials who track his reindeer-powered sleigh.
“All systems are go,” US army Major Ruth Castro, spokeswoman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said on Wednesday. Since the mid-1950s, NORAD and its predecessor agency have made a tradition of tracking the flight path of Santa, who is also known as Kris Kringle and St. Nicholas, among other monikers. NORAD’s Santa-tracking website, www.noradsanta.org, provides real-time animated updates of the worldwide trek.
Last year, the site had 20 million unique visitors, Castro said, adding that volunteers who staff a telephone hotline fielded some 117,000 calls from interested children and others.
The tradition started in 1955 when a local Sears Roebuck department store misprinted the phone number to the North Pole in a newspaper advertisement, according to NORAD’s website.
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