NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Santa has made his list, checked it twice and now NORAD is fired up and ready to track Mr. Claus' every move. 

"We’ll follow Santa when he becomes airborne and then we’ll switch that over to our satellite tracking systems," said Lieutenant Richard Parker, deputy program director of NORAD SANTA. "They’ll track Santa using the infrared light from Rudolph’s nose."

The North American Aerospace Defense Command has been tracking Santa for 65 years now, a tradition that started by accident. 

"There was an advertisement that was misprinted in a local Colorado Springs newspaper that was encouraging people to dial Santa Claus. The number printed was the number to the command center in the continental air command center," Lt. Parker said. 

The rest is history. 

"When the phone rang that night, the shop commanders picked the phone up and sure enough it was a girl wanting to know where Santa was," Lt. Parker said. "Of course he was confused by this and realized what happened and he assured her he was Santa and he was fine."

Even in the middle of a pandemic, this special Christmas mission is the same: track Santa. 

"We think he will have a good trip this year," Lt. Parker said. "Despite a lot of what's happening, Santa is the one thing we can look forward to to kind of let us know that things in the world are going to be OK." 

NORAD's Santa tracker is up and running right now. As of Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Santa was spotted heading for Perth, Australia. 

We'll be following Santa's movements all day long here at News4, and you can too by heading to NORAD's Santa tracker here. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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