This US-Canadian military agency has been tracking Santa Claus for 68 years; NORAD Santa Tracker » Today Latest Stories

Father Christmas began his journey with an out-of-this-world first stop.


The joint US-Canadian military surveillance agency continued its decades-long Christmas tradition of tracking Santa’s whereabouts, helping children around the world find out when his reindeer-powered sleigh filled with gifts will arrive in town.

3D interactive website www.noradsanta.org Feature Santa Claus and his reindeer on a visualized global delivery route, allowing users to click and learn more about different cities along the route.

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The Santa tracker provided by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) dates back to 1955, when a Colorado newspaper advertisement printed a phone number to connect children with Santa, but mistakenly directed them to the military nerve center hotline.

To avoid frustrating the youngsters, NORAD’s director of operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoop, ordered his staff to check the radar to see where Old Saint Nick might be and update the children on its location.

Sixty-eight years later, NORAD continues the tradition of setting up a temporary call center outside its headquarters in Colorado to answer children’s pressing questions.

A photo posted by the group on Facebook showed rows of people answering phones, some wearing uniforms and others wearing red Santa hats.

Some US dignitaries – namely President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden – joined the holiday event.

“This evening, the President and First Lady partnered with the North American Aerospace Defense Command to track Santa’s calls with children and families across the country,” the White House said in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, the tracker briefly malfunctioned, leaving children in the Pacific region in the dark about its exact location.

“Hey #SantaTrackers! We may be having some technical difficulties with our tracking map, but #Santa is still flying! He’s headed to Fiji next!” The group operating the tracking device said on its Facebook page, before announcing the fix one hour later.

Father Christmas began his journey with an out-of-this-world first stop, according to NORAD: the International Space Station orbiting Earth.

The reindeer-drawn sleigh was also seen crossing Israel as well as crossing southern Gaza, crossing Africa, and heading south to Palmer Station, a research facility in Antarctica.

Santa then headed across South America, bound for the United States, where he unloaded nearly 100,000 presents every second for about 4.9 billion presents as of 0130 GMT Monday, according to the tracker.

When it’s not spreading holiday cheer, NORAD conducts surveillance and warning operations in air and sea space — including monitoring missile launches from North Korea, something that may be on Santa’s mind this year as he passes by, with the latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile just days ago.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


A self-motivated and hard-working individual, I am currently engaged in the field of digital marketing to pursue my passion of writing and strategising. I have been awarded an MSc in Marketing and Strategy with Distinction by the University of Warwick with a special focus in Mobile Marketing. On the other hand, I have earned my undergraduate degrees in Liberal Education and Business Administration from FLAME University with a specialisation in Marketing and Psychology.

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