Christmas 2021: NORAD Follows Santa Claus 2021 in action

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colorado – Rest assured, kids of all ages: Santa Claus is coming this Christmas Eve, and a Monday break with COVID-19 won’t stop him.

Those are the words of the joint US-Canadian military operation that for 66 years has watched Jolly Old St. Nicholas on his global mission and has assured us all – first by road and more recently iPhone, Android, OnStar, Facebook, YouTube and more – that he is on his way to a The sleigh is full of toys and welcome fun.

In what has become a hugely popular tradition of its own, the Colorado-based North American Aerospace Defense Command provides real-time updates on Santa’s progress on Sunday. December 24, from 4 a.m. to midnight MST. NORAD’s Follow Santa allows families to view Father’s Christmas in 3D as he travels across the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe and America.

From deep inside NORAD headquarters, dozens of volunteers made a non-stop phone call to 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723). They and other volunteers working off-site because of coronavirus distancing protocols will answer questions like “When does he come to my house? What kind of cookies does he like?” NORAD program director and spokesman Preston Schlachter said.

Want to watch?

Visit, see #NORADTracksSanta and @NoradSanta on Twitteror use linked apps. You can also email Latest.

Even before Friday’s takeoff, the NORAD website had been visited more than 3 million times, Schlachter said.

“Every household, every country is dealing with the impact of this pandemic. Santa is an icon, and he’s a source of joy to so many people,” Schlachter said.

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For those worried about Santa’s safety – or their own – the bearded man will likely wear a mask at each stop, and of course he’s wearing gloves, Schlachter notes. For technical trends, NORAD’s website provides more data on the trip (Gift weight at take-off: 60,000 tons or 54,600 tons; snowmobile propulsion: nine RP or week’s power). fortune).

Like any good Christmas story, the show’s origins have been told for generations.

In 1955, Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup – the one-night stand commander at NORAD’s predecessor, Continental Air Defense Command – answered a call from a child calling a misprinted number during a advertised in a newspaper, thinking she was. call Santa.

Shoup” answered the call, thinking it was a joke at first, but then realized what had happened and assured the child that he was Santa Claus, and thus began the tradition they we’re celebrating now 66 years later,” Schlachter said.

NORAD’s mission is to observe the skies above North America for any potential threats. Arriving early on Christmas Eve, Santa’s activity began when a cluster of radar stations in northern Canada and Alaska received an infrared signature emanating from Rudolph’s nose. NORAD’s geostationary satellite system on Earth monitors the voyage.

It was all displayed on a large, “uncategorized” screen in a lavishly decorated bridge at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs. Masked volunteers sit at tables equipped with phones, wreaths, miniature Christmas trees, lots of candy and caffeinated coffee – and hand sanitizer.

“We have the Watch”, is NORAD’s military motto.

And when it comes to Santa Claus, NORAD adds:

“Santa’s calling. We’re just watching him.”

The introductory video above is from an earlier report.


Associated Press journalist Terry Chea in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 by Associated Press. Copyright Registered. Christmas 2021: NORAD Follows Santa Claus 2021 in action

Dais Johnston

Dais Johnston is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dais Johnston joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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