© 2021 KASU
webBanner_6-1440x90 - gradient overlay (need black logo).png
Your Connection to Music, News, Arts and Views for Over 60 Years
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Santa Swings By The International Space Station On Christmas Eve

NOEL KING, HOST:

While most of us were asleep, this was happening around the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: And Santa has lifted off.

He's delivering presents to the good boys and girls of Shanghai, China.

To flying over the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

And we've just spotted him over Berlin.

Spotted Santa flying over the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

KING: Not even a global pandemic could stop old St. Nick.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GLEN VANHERCK: Santa Claus has been doing this for many, many years, as you know. And he's been through pandemics before and challenges all around the globe.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That is Air Force General Glen VanHerck speaking to the Associated Press. He is the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. It's better known as NORAD. For the past 65 years, NORAD has been tracking Santa's path around the world on Christmas Eve.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

VANHERCK: We're honored to be able to continue this year, despite the pandemic.

KING: NORAD also got support from another branch of the military. U.S. Space Command launched a new reindeer tracker to pinpoint the exact location of Santa's sleigh at any given time during the night. General James Dickinson says there's a name for it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMES DICKINSON: Rudolph Infrared Tracking System. We made some upgrades this year.

GREENE: We can also say that our own team of producers at MORNING EDITION have been monitoring the tracking system overnight, and it shows billions of gifts were delivered. Santa is now headed home to put his feet up.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

VANHERCK: We hope it brings some normalcy to their lives and some cheer during the holiday season. With the past year, we know we need that.

KING: And on behalf of the MORNING EDITION family, we wish you all a very merry Christmas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS (RIGHT DOWN SANTA CLAUS LANE)")

GENE AUTRY: (Singing) Here comes Santa Claus. Here comes Santa Claus right down Santa Claus Lane. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.