ARLINGTON, Va. — Children who want to watch Santa’s progress through the skies on Christmas Eve can harness the power of the U.S. military’s best tracking technologies, thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

A joint project between the United States and Canada, NORAD uses radars, computers, satellites and other technologies to keep track of every object that enters North American airspace. NORAD personnel can spot anything that flies, whether it is man-made, like airplanes or rockets; or magical, like a sled pulled by nine flying reindeer.

On Dec. 24 — for the 52nd year in a row — NORAD officials have decided to allow kids around the world a special peek into its usually classified capabilities, via a dedicated “NORAD Tracks Santa” Web site,

The Web site, which went live on Nov. 16, is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

The serious business starts Dec. 24 at 2:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, or 10 a.m. Germany time, with a minute-by-minute update on Santa’s travels around the world.

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