Based on this information, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), headquartered in Colorado, will once again be using their satellite surveillance network to track Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world on Christmas Eve. As they have done since the 1950s, NORAD personnel add Santa’s sleigh to their list of objects that they track. Under normal circumstances, they protect citizens of North America from any attacks of aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles against the United States and Canada. However, on Christmas Eve, NORAD’s comprehensive network of orbiting satellites, which are about 22,300 miles (35,890 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth, begins to sense the heat given off by Rudolph’s shiny, red nose in the form of infrared radiation (that is, electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than that of visible light but shorter than radio waves).
As to the unsubstantiated rumor floating around that Santa is not real, NORAD’s pubic relations representative recently said, “The fact that Santa Claus is more than 15 centuries old and does not appear to age is our biggest clue that he does not work within time as we know it….The only logical conclusion is that Santa somehow functions on a different time and space continuum.”
To watch the progress of Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve, go to the NORAD Web site specifically dedicated to the Jolly Old Elf: http://www.noradsanta.org/index.php.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) secured a journalistic coup on December 24, 1999, when they interviewed Saint Nicolas at his secret North Pole workshop. Although details are sketchy as to how the people of NASA made it to his icy domain, some journalists speculate that custom made snow skis were attached to one of the Space Shuttles for the cold and snowy trip. During the interview, Santa revealed that he is already making plans to deliver toys to good little girls and boys when permanent bases are established on the Moon and Mars. Santa is quoted to have said, “The Moon won’t be too much of a challenge. I figure the lunar colonies will keep Earth time, so I’ll just add them to my route. The reindeer will gripe about having to put on spacesuits, but we’ll get used to it.” Santa admitted to interviewers that Mars will be a bit trickier. The Man in the Red Suit said, “Mars is going to start to stretch us a bit. See, it takes 687 days to go around the Sun. That’s about two of our Earth years. So every other year I’ll have two Christmas runs to make, the Earth-Moon run and the Mars run.”
To learn more information on current weather conditions and up-to-the-minute status reports on Santa’s preparations for his around-the-world journey, go to the NASA Web site: http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/home/seasonal/SantaTrack.html.
In an official NASA press release, NASA is also providing the Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility for Santa’s use in case he should need it while flying across central Florida. According to a NASA press official, Santa has upgraded his sleighs with high-tech equipment in order to “cope with increasing demand from additional children.” In fact, Santa has added electronic flight control devices in the sleigh fleet, including advanced Microwave Scanning Beam Landing (MSBLS), Attitude Director Indicator (ADI), and Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) systems used by the Space Shuttle fleet, along with technology from the Global Positioning System (GPS). Santa’s public relations director at North Pole Headquarters (NPH) recently commented, “He can land on a dime and get 20 cents change in virtual pea soup, zero-zero conditions. He can fly right down a chimney and not get any soot on the runners.”