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Santa's annual December 24th journey will include a trip to the International Space Station

A press release from AGI, an Ansys company — December 10, 2020

Santa Claus’ annual Christmas Eve journey this year will include a trip to the International Space Station (ISS), marking the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence on the spacecraft. 

Santa’s engineering team, led by special AGI elves in Exton, PA, has reprogrammed the modeling and analysis software to guide Santa’s sleigh to the ISS, which orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. Since 2000, 242 people from 19 countries have visited the ISS, which has hosted more than 3,000 research and education experiments from people in 108 countries and areas.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this significant 20-year milestone than to have Santa bring presents to the ISS,” said AGI Co-Founder, Paul Graziani. “We work 24/7, 365 days a year to ensure our customers can efficiently analyze and operate complex aerospace systems quickly and with unprecedented fidelity, and on Christmas Eve, there’s a bit of magic in our mission.”

This marks the 23rd year that Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), an Ansys company, has worked with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Operations Center on the annual Santa Tracker experience, attracting more than 24 million visitors from around the world each year.

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AGI is joined for the first time by its new parent company, Ansys, offering new simulations and digital engineering software to improve the Santa-tracking experience. AGI also collaborates with Cesium, provider of the mapping technology that shows Santa’s current position on the web-based 3D globe that models realistic terrain, oceans, and imagery.

AGI uses its flagship software program, Systems Tool Kit (STK), to model 2D and 3D trackers that follow Santa and his sleigh on their trek around the globe. Once Rudolph and the other reindeer are ready for takeoff, the trackers will analyze and visualize the data NORAD receives from fighter jets, satellites, radars, and special high tech “Santa Cams” about Kris Kringle’s progress. Viewers will catch glimpses of Santa as he flies past the Santa Cams.

As Santa prepares to leave the North Pole on December 24, fans of all ages can watch the Santa Cams starting at 4 a.m. EST for streaming videos from his route including his visit to the ISS and flybys of famous landmarks around the globe including the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the Statue of Liberty. Viewers can click map icons to learn more about specific destinations including cities in New Zealand – Auckland and Wellington – as well as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta – locations featured in the video for the first time.

And starting 6 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve, you can talk to a live operator to inquire about Santa's whereabouts by calling 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723).

Between now and December 24, visit www.noradsanta.org and take a virtual trip to the North Pole. A free app is also available with new games every day.

Photos, b-roll, and other visuals illustrating Santa’s journey can be found here.

AGI software supports Santa’s annual journey and other critical missions throughout the year. For additional information about how AGI helps its customers in the aerospace and defense industry, visit agi.com.

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About AGI, an Ansys company

Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) provides commercial software for designing, developing and operating missions within the aerospace and national security communities. Our technology and support provide complete insight into the four-dimensional world by using extremely accurate analytical models backed by compelling visual simulations, so that users can make the best decisions about assets that move in space and time. AGI products are available as ready-to-use applications or development tools, and have been adapted to implement unique and open enterprise solutions to some of the hardest problems faced by our customers.

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Systems Tool Kit (STK)

The most important thing on your desktop.