Government shutdown can't keep NORAD from tracking Santa's journey

(CNN)The guessing days are over.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its top-notch radar system will tell you when to get your cookies and milk ready for Santa's arrival.
For 63 years, the organization otherwise tasked with detecting aerospace activity has turned its attention to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve -- tracking his sleigh and nine reindeer as they glide through the night to every child's house -- well, the ones he's deemed good for the year.
It's a tough task, but NORAD says they are the "only organization that has the technology, the qualifications and the people to do it."
    And even if the federal government has shut down, NORAD announced Friday they'll continue to track Santa's journey. Military personnel and more than 1,500 volunteers will field calls on Santa's location and continue the decades-old tradition.
    Take a peak at Santa's journey here.

    How it started

    In 1955, when Colorado-based Sears Roebuck & Co. misprinted a telephone number in an advertisement for kids wishing to talk to Santa, they sent dozens of children calling the Continental Air Defense Command center instead.
    Colonel Harry Shoup
    Colonel Harry Shoup didn't miss a beat. He and his staff spent the night answering calls and telling hundreds of kids where Santa was flying over during the night -- starting a tradition. In 1958, shortly after NORAD was created, they picked it up and have kept it going for decades.
    Each year, hundreds of volunteers stop by the Santa Tracker command center to take calls from kids. Former First Lady Michelle Obama volunteered her help, answering Santa questions for more than six years. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump also participated in phone calls in 2017.

    How they know where he is

    NORAD's radar system is installed in more than 47 locations across Canada and Alaska. The agency's satellites, more than 22,000 miles above Earth, use infrared sensors to track heat and help the organization track missile launches that may be directed at Nor