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Note: We have corrected the link to Merry Christmas!  

December 24, 2010 (North Pole) -- NORAD , the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has confirmed that Santa and his fully-loaded, reindeer-powered sleigh took off from the North Pole and soared into the arctic sky at 6:00 a.m. EST (3:00 a.m. PST). NORAD radar is tracking Rudolph’s bright red nose, and satellite imagery is providing minute-by-minute coverage of Santa’s location.

Want to track Santa’s journey around the world? This year, NORAD’s Santa Tracker website  lets you follow Santa’s journey utilizing the latest high-tech tools: the iGoogle gadget, social networking sites, and a Google map application for your mobile phone.

The website also features interactive games for kids, videos from around the world, Santa facts, and more. NORAD’s site claims to track Santa via radar, satellites, a special network of Santa cams, and fighter jets.

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight. The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at that time,  Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a holiday tradition was born.

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