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WATCH: NORAD defense satellites tracking Santa, Rudolph's bright red nose

Santa Claus reviews his flight plan for his Dec. 25 trek across the globe in the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Current Operations Center Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at the NORAD and USNORTHCOM headquarters at Peterson Air Force, Colo. Santa’s visit today comes in advance of the commands' annual NORAD Tracks Santa outreach effort, which is expected to reach more than 20 million unique visitors on the www.noradsanta.org website.

Even before 9 a.m. on the East Coast, Santa Claus had already delivered more than 750 million toys to good boys and girls across the globe - this according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Watch live as Santa and his reindeer make their way around the world!

Beginning at 6 p.m. eastern time on Christmas Eve, children can call the Santa tracking hotline at 1-877-HI-NORAD and speak with NORAD Santa tracking experts.

Santa and his trusty team of reindeer can also be tracked on Twitter and on Facebook. But don't stay up too late!

Normally, NORAD's mission is to track the skies for threats against the U.S and Canada, but this time of year, the agency brings sweet tidings of joy and a nifty interactive tool that allows parents and kids to track Santa's whereabouts (in 3D!).

NORAD's tracking technology has sharpened over the years. The agency's defense support program satellites are capable of tracking even the most minute heat signature against the Earth's background. This year, the satellites' infrared sensors have zeroed in on, you guessed it, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer's bright red nose.

For the past 62 years, NORAD has been using its satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters, to track Santa Claus around the world and bring that information to curious children (and adults).

That is why NORAD staffs up for the holiday, bringing in a team of about 1,500 volunteers to answer thousands of phone calls and emails from children and adults in more than 200 countries who are eager to stay up-to-date on Santa's whereabouts so they get to bed in time.

Despite NORAD's high-tech mission and their pilots who get to fly beside Santa on Christmas Eve, they still can't explain how he manages to get down chimneys to deliver presents.

If you want to know what it's like to track Santa, Major Tony Muro with the National Security Space Institute explains it on Twitter!


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