JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Merrily on high: US astronauts help track Santa's delivery route

Wednesday, December 25, 2019, 11:30 GMT+7
Merrily on high: US astronauts help track Santa's delivery route
US astronaut Andrew Morgan spotted Santa en route, laden with gifts. Photo: AFP

For decades, the Canadian and American defense agency NORAD has provided updates on Santa Claus's international gift delivery route, but this year, for the first time, US astronauts lent a hand.

"We have obtained visual confirmation that Santa is currently traveling south over India," Andrew Morgan said at 1700 GMT via a video link as he floated at zero gravity in the International Space Station.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said that the ISS was traveling at 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers) an hour, 250 miles above Earth -- providing "a great vantage point to spot Santa on his annual journey around the world."

"NORAD appreciates the support of Colonel Morgan and the ISS team," it added.

The agency reported that Santa and his reindeer were approaching Punta Arenas, Chile at 0048 GMT Wednesday and had already delivered more than 4.3 billion gifts. They had taken off from the North Pole at 0930 GMT Tuesday.

NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 -- the NORAD Tracks Santa Operation Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, is pictured on December 24, 2019. Photo: AFP

NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 -- the NORAD Tracks Santa Operation Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, is pictured on December 24, 2019. Photo: AFP

NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 when a girl dialed a misprinted phone number from a department store advertisement in the local newspaper, believing she was calling Santa.

The number rang into the Air Defense Command Operation Center, where an officer was quick to realize the mistake and assured her he was Santa.

Each year since, NORAD has reported Santa's location to millions across the globe, with noradsanta.org this year live-tracking his present-filled sleigh pulled by nine reindeer.

Today, 1,500 volunteers help the military answer calls and emails from children.

US first lady Melania Trump joined the effort, listening to several children from across the United States tick off items on their Christmas lists. She reminded them to put out milk and cookies for Santa.

The US Department of Agriculture said that "Mr S. Nicholas Claus" and his reindeer had been granted a special movement permit to enter the country and were "fit for landing on rooftops."

AFP

More

Read more

New WHO guidance calls for more evidence on airborne transmission

The report follows an open letter from scientists who specialise in the spread of disease in the air - so-called aerobiologists - that urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease spreads to include aerosol transmission

14 hours ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news