Tracking Santa with NORAD

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22 Dec 2020 1:30 PM

FEATURE IMAGE AND INFORMATION COURTESY: NORAD Watch along with WeatherNation as we track Santa's journey around the world on Christmas Eve!  

Fun Facts About Santa's Mission:

Santa's sleigh is approximately 75 candy canes in length or 150 lollypops. The weight at takeoff is 75k gumdrops and Santa is estimated to be 260 lbs at takeoff - we're not sure how much he weighs by the time he lands after all those cookies! Santa's sleigh can travel faster than starlight at maximum speed and is powered by 9 reindeer!

How Did NORAD Get Their Start Tracking Santa?

For more than 60 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

(Image: Colonel Harry Shoup, NORAD's First Santa Tracker September 29, 1917 - March 14, 2009)

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa

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