Arthur Christmas and NASA Spinoffs

Geek Culture

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Arthur Christmas at North Pole Operations (Image: Sony Pictures)

Believe it or not, there is a great deal of NASA technology in your everyday life! This includes movie and entertainment technology. Now, in the 21st century, the business of Christmas and Santa Claus has gone hi-tech. The upcoming Sony Pictures Animation movie, Arthur Christmas, showcases a number of NASA enabled technology advancements used in operations at the North Pole. Tonight, during prime time, the Smithsonian Channel will feature a short about the NASA technology featured in the film. From the NASA press release:

This year in the holiday release of “Arthur Christmas,” Santa’s North Pole has turned to high technology to run a precise operation in getting billions of gifts delivered around the world. Run by thousands of computer-savvy elves, the North Pole uses NASA-style technology to track the delivery of gifts around the Earth as they are being delivered by Santa’s high speed S-1. The S-1 is a giant spacecraft in the shape of a sleigh.

Sony Pictures Animation team created a special one-minute segment from the film to help bring attention to the many high tech gadgets and everyday items that come from NASA technology.

The short is also available for streaming online from NASA. For more information about NASA technology spinoffs, check out the NASA Spinoffs site. Arthur Christmas opens in theaters on November 23rd.

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured Santa’s space technology interests. We’ve seen footage of him training in a centrifuge. Based on the way Santa’s North Pole operations work, I had my suspicion that Santa may have a polar orbit based delivery concept. NASA actually downlinks data from polar orbiting satellites from a ground station near the North Pole at Svalbard, Norway. This works great because we can cover the whole planet in a day and we cross the North Pole on every orbit. The big guy likes everyone to think he is an ancient jolly old elf but he is no knucklehead when it comes to orbital dynamics, thermodynamics, and theoretical physics.

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