Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Santa Claus Expected To Visit Kennedy Space Center To Install X-MAS Robotic Arm

Date:
December 24, 2001
Source:
NASA/Kennedy Space Center
Summary:
KSC officials have learned that Santa Claus is planning a late-night landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) to install a new robotic toy distribution aid on his sleigh. Although KSC employees will be at home enjoying the holidays, the SLF will be left in full operational mode to accommodate the world-renowned sleigh commander, who has been granted special security clearance.

KSC officials have learned that Santa Claus is planning a late-night landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) to install a new robotic toy distribution aid on his sleigh. Although KSC employees will be at home enjoying the holidays, the SLF will be left in full operational mode to accommodate the world-renowned sleigh commander, who has been granted special security clearance.

In response to a touch of arthritis in his joints, Santa spent months creating an EXtra-Manual Aid System (X-MAS). While the reindeer propulsion team is grazing in the lush grass adjacent to the runway, Santa will install X-MAS on the sleigh's midsection, directly between the cockpit and the cargo area. X-MAS will allow Santa to select the most appropriate toy at each child's home without having to reach backward, preventing arthritis flare-ups brought on by overextending his elbows in the chill night air.

X-MAS was inspired by the Canadian-built Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), installed on the International Space Station in April 2001 during Mission STS-100. A longer, stronger and more flexible version of the Shuttle's robotic arm, the SSRMS is 56 feet long when fully extended and has seven motorized joints. It is self-relocatable with a special latching end effector that can be attached to complementary ports located throughout the Station's exterior surfaces.

"If all goes according to plan, Santa will perform the Ground Integrated Functional Test (GIFT) immediately after installation of the X-MAS just to ensure that it works," said Tip Talone, director of the ISS/Payload Processing Directorate. "Our folks here gave Santa some pointers on testing methods. This means the families in the local area could be the first to receive their Christmas gifts with the new system."

Cloaked in darkness and miles away from the prying eyes of children, the SLF is an ideal North American rest stop for Santa and his team of reindeer. First opened for flights in 1976, it was specially designed for returning Space Shuttle orbiters. With its 15,000-foot-long and 300-foot-wide paved runway, the SLF is longer and wider than runways found in most commercial airports. Typically, 16 powerful xenon lights, each producing up to 1 billion candlepower, light the SLF during nighttime landing operations. However, so that Santa can retain his anonymity, the lights are always left off on Christmas Eve.

"It doesn't cost the government or taxpayers a penny," said a security supervisor who wished to remain anonymous. "We don't know for sure that he stops here every year. But there's too much ice in the North Pole for him to properly install the X-MAS. And since he did contact our security office to request clearance to land this Christmas Eve, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he stops here."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Kennedy Space Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Kennedy Space Center. "Santa Claus Expected To Visit Kennedy Space Center To Install X-MAS Robotic Arm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224080513.htm>.
NASA/Kennedy Space Center. (2001, December 24). Santa Claus Expected To Visit Kennedy Space Center To Install X-MAS Robotic Arm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224080513.htm
NASA/Kennedy Space Center. "Santa Claus Expected To Visit Kennedy Space Center To Install X-MAS Robotic Arm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224080513.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The space shuttle Discovery launched for the very first time 30 years ago. Here's a look back at its legacy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins