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NORAD gears up to track Santa

Despite President Bush's formal go-ahead on the first phase of missile defense deployment, the coast is clear for the time being on the entry of Santa Claus into American air space.

According to officials at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, the North Pole and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) are once again teaming up to track Santa Claus's journey around the world Christmas Eve. In an Air Force statement, officials noted that a "sleigh test-flight" was conducted December 18 to ensure that satellite systems can track the infrared signature of deer Rudolph's bright nose.

No word yet on cost to taxpayers for the test and what "satellite systems" were utilized.

The flight originated at the North Pole with Santa himself aboard in full garb, the Air Force statement noted. The test went off without a hitch, said NORAD officials. NORAD radar detected Santa Claus mere seconds after his take off from the North Pole. Canadian and American air forces intercepted Santa and flew with him before he returned to the North Pole to await the "real" flight on December 24th.

Merry Christmas everyone! ;)

View: NORAD's Santa Tracker

"News" source: Space.com

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