Santa Departs The North Pole, Marking Official Start Of Christmas

6:41 AM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
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With children across the world excitedly awaiting a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, U.S. aerospace command in Colorado is preparing to provide them with detailed updates on his movements from the North Pole.

On the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) website "Tracks Santa", children can count down the hours to Santa's take-off, watch images of him preparing for his flight and watch online "Santa cams" showing him deliver gifts to children around the world.

Year-round, NORAD is tasked with protecting the skies of North America, alert for any attack by aircraft or missiles.

Officials describe tracking Santa as a natural seasonal extension of NORAD's duties.

Military forces have been helping children track Santa and his reindeer on their fantasy flight since 1955, when a local ad giving a telephone number to speak directly with him mistakenly directed children to a military defense operations center.

Now technology helps children and families pinpoint Santa's route to their home. This year, they can download apps showing how Santa and the reindeer traverse the globe.

They can also call or email the command center for Santa's coordinates.

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