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Kentucky New Era

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NORAD tracking Santa's flight

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Posted: Friday, December 24, 2010 5:51 pm

Santa Claus and his sleigh, all loaded down with toys for good boys and girls, was making stops in Madrid, Spain, shortly before 4:30 p.m. (Hopkinsville time) on Christmas Eve.

That's according to a report from NORAD, the bi-national U.S. and Canadian military organization responsible for maritime warnings in defense of North America. His steady progress through Europe means he'll be in North America by the time children have been sent to bed.

A team of more than 1,000 volunteers and Canadian and American uniform personnel provide the Santa tracking service every year in anticipation of Santa's flight with eight tiny reindeer.

Children and parents who want to see Santa's progress can go to the NORAD Santa Tracker website at www.noradsanta.org.

The Website offers a wealth of Santa intelligence, including detailed technical data on Santa's sleigh.

Did you know, for example, that the sleigh was designed and built by K. Kringle & Elves Inc. Its "probable first flight" was Dec. 24, 343 A.D.

The sleigh is based at the North Pole. (Of course.)  And the weight of the gifts in the sleigh at takeoff is 60,000 tons. Santa, by the way, is less than 6 feet tall and weighs 260 pounds. He is at least 16 centuries old, according to NORAD.

Some have wondered if Santa has ever crashed while flying around the world. So many flights, you know. So many chimneys to negotiate.

A NORAD official said, "Santa has been flying for centuries without hitting anything. He must be a great pilot!"

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