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Shuttle Landing Facility available to Santa -- if necessary!

One hopes Santa reads his email.

>From: Bruce Buckingham <Bruce.Buckingham-1 at>
>To: "'2. KSC-PRESS-RELEASE at'" 
>    <ksc-press-release at>
>Subject: Shuttle Landing Facility available to Santa -- if necessary!
>Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 16:41:00 -0500
>Sender: owner-ksc-press-release at
>NASA News
>National Aeronautics and
>Space Administration
>John F. Kennedy Space Center
>Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
>_______			                                   For Release:
>Joel Wells 				Dec. 18, 1996
>KSC Release No. 150 - 96
>	The Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility will again be
>available for emergency landings by venerable old Saint Nick should
>problems develop during his annual visit to the world's children.  This
>continues a tradition established shortly after the opening of the SLF
>in the 1970s.
>	The SLF was completed in the late 1970s as part of the center's buildup
>for Space Shuttle operations.  The 15,000-foot-long, 300-foot-wide
>landing strip is among the world's largest and could provide a welcome
>haven for Santa Claus in the event of reindeer problems or mechanical
>difficulties with his new, high-tech sleighs.
>	Santa has gone to high-tech, state-of-the-art sleighs in recent years
>due to the increasing population of kids and the greater workload this
>has imposed.  His reindeer aren't getting any younger, either, and the
>new, lighter sleighs are made of advanced composite materials to lighten
>their burden.
>	Space Shuttle orbiters are guided to precision landings at the
>Spaceport's SLF by a Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) system and
>Microwave Scanning Beam Landing System (MSBLSS).  Santa has equipped his
>new sleighs with flight units capable of establishing contact with them
>should a landing here be necessary.
>	Other recent improvements include improved brakes, enhanced nose runner
>steering and braking parachute. Santa has also incorporated stealth
>technology into the new designs to reduce their radar profiles.  "I have
>to make deliveries in countries that are not at peace with one another,"
>said Claus.  "Even though the kids have behaved themselves, some of the
>grown-ups' anti-aircraft  guns still pose a threat to my reusable launch
>	No government expense is involved in making the SLF available to Saint
>Nick on Christmas Eve.  No personnel will be on duty and the automated
>landing systems will be left on in the automatic mode.
>	Has Santa ever had to make a forced landing at KSC?
>	"We have no actual proof," commented an SLF manager, who spoke only
>with assurances of anonymity.  "But the morning after a real cold
>Christmas several years ago we found a twisted sleigh runner we've never
>been able to account for."
># # # #

               Rodney Thayer <rodney at>       +1 617 332 7292
               Sable Technology Corp, 246 Walnut St., Newton MA 02160 USA
               Fax: +1 617 332 7970 
                           "Developers of communications software"

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