A short stint in the cockpit of a T-38 jet at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, allowed Santa Claus to momentarily leave his sleigh and make his way to town. Viewers waved to Santa in a video uploaded on December 23rd while an elf served as his co-pilot.
American aerospace company Northrop Corporation developed and manufactured the T-38 Talon, a supersonic jet trainer with two seats and twinjet propulsion. It was the most manufactured supersonic trainer in the world and the first of its kind.
According to NASA, the two-engine plane can do aerobatic maneuvers to acclimate astronauts to the unique altitudes they’ll see in space shuttles, and it can reach speeds of Mach 1.2 and 50,000 feet.
According to its website, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a joint U.S. and Canadian agency responsible for the tasks of aerospace warning and control for North America. As is customary, NORAD keeps tabs on Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.
A report shows Colorado’s Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs hosted NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) last month. On Christmas Eve, NORAD anticipated over a thousand volunteers to lend a hand with the yearly event.
The assets used to keep the North American continent secure daily are also used to monitor Santa, according to 1st Lt. Sean Carter, program manager at NTS. They can always see exactly where Santa is, even if he’s quicker than the speed of light.
According to Carter, NORAD Tracks Santa activities were aided by military and civilian supporters beginning around 4 a.m. on Christmas Eve and continued until midnight. The public was able to get notifications on several platforms, such as the NTS app and website.
The tradition of tracking Santa began in 1955 when a child dialed an advertised NORAD phone number. The child’s inquiry about Santa’s location was encouraged by a colonel. Subsequently, NORAD Tracks Santa became a massive corporation.