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norad tracks santa

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition of Santa’s flight tracking 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.” NORAD Snta Tracker 2014

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.

Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa® website.

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The NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) is tracking Santa’s route around the world.

You can watch it too on www.noradsanta.org starting Christmas Eve.

The website also has games and activities, videos, music and more.

The official NORAD Tracks Santa app is also available in the Windows, Apple and Android stores. Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.

NORAD Tracks Santa started in 1955

NORAD Tracks Santa started in 1955

Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each social media site to get started.

Starting Christmas Eve, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight through the Bing maps and Cesium technology to track Santa with NORAD in 2D and 3D.

Beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday, trackers can speak with a live phone operator to ask about Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to noradtracks [email protected]­.com.

NORAD Tracks Santa started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct – only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center.

Thus began the tradition which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.

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Two competing Santa tracking devices are racing to track Father Christmas as he travels the globe tonight.

Volunteers have again been watching Santa’ progress from 5:00 a.m. EST as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa Programme.

The system, run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is in its 57th year and allows children to follow the sleigh online.

But this year it has a competitor – using its Google Earth and Google Maps products, the internet search giant is tracking Santa on its own this year with a new algorithm.

“While we’ve been tracking Santa since 2004 with Google Earth, this year a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers built a new route algorithm to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve,” the vice-president of Google Maps and Google Earth, Brian McClendon, wrote on the Official Google blog this week.

Meanwhile, NORAD revealed it takes hundreds of calls from those eager to know Saint Nick’s precise location and uses radar and satellite and even fighter jets to keep a track of his route.

For the past two years even the First Lady, Michelle Obama, has lent a hand answering calls from concerned children keen to keep tabs on Santa and his nine reindeer.

As the site explains: “The moment that radar indicates Santa has lifted off, we use our second detection system.

“Satellites positioned in geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth’s surface are equipped with infrared sensors, which enable them to detect heat.

“Amazingly, Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature, which allows our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa.

“The third tracking system is the Santa Cam network…Santa Cams are ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many locations around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year.

“The cameras capture images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their journey around the world.”

NORAD and Google Santa Tracker competition to follow Father Christmas as he travels the globe

NORAD and Google Santa Tracker competition to follow Father Christmas as he travels the globe

By 1:00 p.m. EST the tracking site had followed Santa across Australia and Asia.

Santa was spotted passing landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Sydney Opera House.

He was most recently seen above the skies of Afghanistan.

Last year, Michelle Obama, said she was delighted to be part of the project.

In a statement, the First Lady said: “It is wonderful to be part of this holiday tradition. I love answering calls from children who were anxious to learn where Santa was and when he would arrive at their home.

“I passed on to each child the current location of Santa and reminded them that he would come to their house only after they were in bed sleeping.”

In 1955, a Colorado Springs newspaper advert invited children to talk to Santa on a hotline.

But the number had a typo, and dozens of children mistakenly dialed the Continental Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, the predecessor to NORAD.

The officers on duty sprang into action and began passing along reports on Santa’s progress – and the tradition was born.

More than 1500 volunteers will answer calls in shifts until 5:00 a.m. EST on Christmas morning.

Last year NORAD received more than 100,000 calls and 7,000 emails.

Google’s new Santa Tracker is live on the web at http://www.google.com/santatracker.

Santa can also be tracked online using NORAD at www.noradsanta.org, www.facebook.com/noradsanta and https://twitter.com/NoradSanta.

An app can also be downloaded to Apple, Google Android and Microsoft phones as well as Windows PCs.

NORAD has seen more than 1.5 million app downloads already this year.

Calls are taken at 877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723) or on 1 (719) 556-5211 from Colorado Springs or overseas.

Emails can be sent to [email protected].

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Children and parents across the world can see just how far Santa and his reindeer are from their homes, thanks to a “Santa Tracker” that follows his route around the globe.

Santa tracker – a collaboration between Google and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) – shows live footage of the sleigh passing landmarks including Big Ben, the Empire State Building and, of course, his grotto in the North Pole.

The tracker uses radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets to follow his sleigh, and can be seen online on Google Earth.

Santa can also been seen on the Google Maps app on smart phones by typing in “Santa” or on the NORAD Santa Site.

NORAD Santa site explains: “The moment that radar indicates Santa has lifted off, we use our second detection system. Satellites positioned in geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth’s surface are equipped with infrared sensors, which enable them to detect heat.

“Amazingly, Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature, which allows our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa.”

Children and parents across the world can see just how far Santa and his reindeer are from their homes, thanks to a “Santa Tracker” that follows his route around the globe

Children and parents across the world can see just how far Santa and his reindeer are from their homes, thanks to a “Santa Tracker” that follows his route around the globe

NORAD has been tracking Santa’s journey for more than 50 years.

In 1955, a Colorado Springs newspaper advert invited children to talk to Santa on a hotline.

But the number had a typo, and dozens of children mistakenly dialed the Continental Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, the predecessor to NORAD.

The officers on duty sprang into action and began passing along reports on Santa’s progress – and the tradition was born.

It is going strong, with a Denver-based NORAD crew answering 80,000 phone calls and 7,000 emails on Christmas Eve last year.

The NORAD Tracks Santa website has had more than 2.2 million unique visitors this year, compared with 2 million last year, according to the Associated Press.

More than 1,200 volunteers will answer calls in shifts until 3:00 a.m. Mountain Time on December 25.

They check big-screen computer monitors to pass along information to the children who call in.

“It’s just so precious to hear the little sigh or (only) breathing on the other end, and you realize how nervous they are,” Joyce Creech, NORAD’s project leader, told the Associated Press.

“But we’ve had really heart-wrenching stories as well,” she said.

“<<Can you ask Santa to heal my brother of cancer?>> Or, <<Can I get a new pair of shoes? I don’t have any.>>”

This year, they have added a further 20 phones this year, bringing the total to 120, and four more laptops, totaling at 23.

Santa tracker now even has a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Youtube channel and apps for mobile phones, along with a website, and the phone line, 877-HI NORAD.

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