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GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project
GLONASS Tracks Father Frost

GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Emblem
Active 2009 - present
Country Russian Federation
Type Public Service Program
Role Three (3) important roles: 1) Real-time tracking of Father Frost, 2) Provide news of Father Frost throughout the year, and 3) Provide information on Father Frost's town of Veliky Ustyug in Vologda Oblast, Russia.
Garrison/HQ (2009 - Present) town of Veliky Ustyug in Vologda Oblast, Russia;
Anniversaries November 18, Father Frost's Birthday


As the end of the first decade of the 21st Century approaches, a resurgent Russian Federation seeks to compete with the West in numerous areas.[1] One of these areas is competition by the Russian Father Frost with the western-oriented Santa Claus and in turn competition by the GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project with the western-oriented NORAD Tracks Santa Program.[2] [3] [4] [5] The GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project also corresponds with the late Colonel(Retired) Harry Shoup’s, the original Chief Santa Tracker in 1955 at CONAD (NORAD’s predecessor), vision to expand the NORAD Tracks Santa program to cover Russia’s winter holiday season celebrations, such as the Gregorian calendar New Year's Eve celebration and the Julian calendar Russian Orthodox Christmas Eve celebration. [6]


News video, in Russian, on November 18, 2010 announcing the launch of the GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project for 2010 and its comparison with the NORAD Tracks Santa Program, which started in 1955. [7] Link to English and Russian Text and Full Size Video from Channel 5, St Petersburg, Russia, GLONASS Tracks Father Frost On-Line, 18 November 2010
News video of Father Frost School in Moscow, Russia, 27 Dec 2010. [8] Link to Full Size Video


History

2009

In November 2009, for the first time, the Russian Federation offered competition to the NORAD Tracks Santa Program by planning to use their GLONASS (GLObal NAvigation Satellite System or “the Russian GPS”) to track Father Frost (“or the Russian and Soviet Santa Claus”) on New Years Eve (per the Gregorian Calendar) and to help Father Frost and his helpers navigate on their gift giving journey. How well this actually worked on New Years Eve of 2010 is not known. [9]

Not to be left behind by the NORAD Tracks Santa Program and OnStar, the GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project and GLONASS in 2009 equipped Father Frost’s sledge and other vehicles at his residence in the town of Veliky Ustyug in Vologda Oblast (Region), Russia with GLONASS navigation systems.[10] [11]


2010

2010 – Father Frost GLONASS Staff

Father Frost with GLONASS Navigation Staff

GLONASS Tracking Father Frost

GLONASS tracking Father Frost and his Navigation Staff


On November 18, 2010, the competition between the NORAD Tracks Santa Program and the Russian-led GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project heated up when both the Ria Novosti (Russian International News Agency) and Voice of Russia announced that for Father Frost’s November 18 birthday, [12] Ivan Nechayev, the executive director of the Russian Navigation Technologies company [1], presented Father Frost with a special staff equipped with a GLONASS navigation module in the crystal-shaped top of the staff. The navigation crystal is 180 centimeters (7 inches) in height and weighs 3 kilograms (7 pounds). The navigation crystal transmits Father Frost’s coordinates to a special center, which publishes them on the internet, at website of www.dmglonass.ru, so that everyone can follow his progress on his traditional voyage in preparation for the New Year. Ivan Nechayev, mentioned in his remarks that “Technical innovations have become an essential part of modern life. Therefore, Father Frost has mastered computer skills, receives e-mails from children, has blogs in social networks and uses a cell phone to communicate with other winter holiday wizards (magicians).” [11] [13] [14]

News video of Father Frost’s New Year’s Eve greetings to the cosmonauts at the Intenational Space Station (ISS) on 27 Dec 2010 and New Year’s Eve greetings from the ISS cosmonauts on 31 Dec 2010. [15] Link to Full Size Video

Everyone has the opportunity to observe the movement of Father Frost during his November and December travels in real time on the Official GLONASS Tracks Father Frost website of www.dmglonass.ru, which is in the Russian language (a language ignored by the competing NORAD Tracks Santa Program). Father Frost's November and December 2010 travels included stops at Salekhard, New Urengoy, Tolyatti, Ulyanovsk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Arkhangelsk, Minsk, Belarus, Klaipeda, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia, and Moscow, the capital of Russia. He made other stops at Kostroma, where he met with Snegurochka (the "Snow Maiden"), and in the near-Moscow Korolev he made contact with the the astronauts and cosmonauts in orbit at the International Space Station. In Strasbourg, France, he met with his winter holiday wizard or Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, and Father Christmas counterparts of Europe, made a visit to Cannes at the invitation of the City Hall, and visited Peine, Germany.[16] [17] Father Frost's 2010 tour ended in St. Petersburg, Russia.[18] [19] This is similar to the Macy’s Annual Santa Claus Tour in the United States of America.


2011

In 2011, the Official GLONASS Tracks Father Frost website expanded to include webpages on: 1) the other winter holiday wizards (to include Santa Claus) across the world, 2) Father Frost’s Helpers, 3) the outfits (or costumes) worn by Father Frost, 4) the transportation used by Father Frost (horse sleigh, reindeer sleigh, and sleigh), and 5) Father Frost and the Cosmos.


Official GLONASS Tracks Father Frost website

The Official GLONASS Tracks Father Frost website of www.dmglonass.ru has these features in the Russian language: 1) real-time tracking of Father Frost, 2) News of Father Frost throughout the year, 3) Father Frost's Diary of his travels, 4) A form to send e-mail to Father Frost, 5) Photo Albums of Father Frost's activities, 6) Videos of Father Frost, 7) Streaming audio of Father Frost's favorite songs (in Russian), 8) Poems and verses from children's letters to Father Frost, 9) Information on Father Frost's town of Veliky Ustyug in Vologda Oblast, Russia. 10) Opportunities to enter contest and other events for gifts and prizes, 11) Information about the GLONASS Tracks Father Frost effort and project, 12) Information about the partners in the GLONASS Tracks Father Frost effort and project, and 13) Information about the 2009 activities and successes of the GLONASS Tracks Father Frost effort and project.[20]

Unlike the NORAD Tracks Santa Program website which is only available during December thru the following Three Kings Day (or the end of the first week of January), the GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project website is available year-round to track Father Frost's activities.


Sponsors and Partners.

The GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Project is made possible by the excellent work of its sponsors, partners, and those providing publicity and information support.

Co-Sponsors are the Russian Navigation Technologies (RNT) company [2], the Vologda Oblast (Regional) government [3], and the Joint Stock Compnay (JSC) Scientific and Production Corporation (SPC) "REKOD" [4] (link in Russian). JSC SPC REKOD is the leading organization and authorized representative of the Russian Federal Space Agency in preparation and implementation of joint agreements, programs and projects with constituents of the Russian Federation and other consumers in the area of applying space activity results (SR).

Partners include: the "Ded Moroz" (Father Frost) Travel Agency OAO (Unlimited Joint-Stock Company) [5] (link in Russian), the Official Tourist Information Center of the Vologda (Oblast) Region [6] (link in Russian), and the Russian Telecom Club [7].

Publicity and Information support are provided by the "Courier Media" Publishing House [8] (link in Russian), the IMKON-Media Communications Agency [9] (link in Russian), the Saint Petersburg, Russia - Information and News Forums [10] (link in Russian), AutoRadio (FM 90.3 in Moscow, Russia) [11] (link in Russian), and Askont (Internet site builder and hosting service) [12] (link in Russian).


Fun Facts – Father Frost and the Winter Holiday Season


References

  1. "Russia: Cold War Lite, 1 Jan 2008 by Nicholas" (in en). Kiev Ukraine News Blog. http://news.kievukraine.info/2008/01/russia-cold-war-lite.html. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Meet Russia's Antidote To Santa, Dec 25, 2007 by Dave Grout, CBS News" (in en). CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/12/24/world/main3645123.shtml. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Video - Meet Russia's Antidote To Santa, Dec 25, 2007 by Dave Grout, CBS News" (in en). CBS News. http://cnettv.cnet.com/ded-moroz-santa-claus/9742-1_53-50012880.html. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  4. "November 18 is Russian Santa Claus' birthday – November 18, 2010" (in en). News BCM. http://www.newsbcm.com/doc/460. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  5. "Tracking Santa and Father Frost: GPS or GLONASS – November 30, 2010" (in en). GNSS News. http://www.insidegnss.com/node/2381. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  6. "Santa Trackers.Org, page 2, Dec 2000 by John B. Dendy, Airman Magazine - US Air Force" (in en). US Air Force. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBP/is_12_44/ai_68507673/pg_2/. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  7. "The Movements of Father Frost can now be Tracked On-Line, 18 Nov 2010" (in Russian). St. Petersburg, Russia – Channel 5. http://5-tv.ru/news/34417/. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  8. "Father Frost students practice Xmas tricks at Moscow Santa School, 27 Dec 2010" (in English). RT.com. http://rt.com/news/prime-time/santa-claus-school-moscow/. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  9. "What on earth is happening with "Russia's GPS"?, Dec 1, 2009 by Julia Ioffe" (in en). Fortune. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2009/12/01/what-on-earth-is-happening-with-russias-gps/. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  10. "Vologda Oblast Press Release: Ded Moroz Sledge is Tracked by GLONASS – Dec 28, 2009" (in en). Vologda Oblast. http://vologda-oblast.ru/inform.asp?id=35750&LNG=ENG. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Russian Santa Claus to be tracked via GLONASS satnav system, November 18, 2010" (in en). Ria Novosti. http://en.rian.ru/art_living/20101118/161395333.html. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  12. "November 18 is Russian Santa Claus' birthday – November 18, 2010" (in en). News BCM. http://www.newsbcm.com/doc/460. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  13. "Father Frost gets GLONASS Staff, November 18, 2010" (in en). Voice of Russia. http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/11/18/35238415.html. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  14. "Video - Father Frost’s birthday present: A staff with an onboard navigation system, November 18, 2010" (in en). Ria Novosti. http://en.rian.ru/video/20101122/161441697.html. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  15. "We can celebrate New Year several times – ISS crew, 1 Jan 2011" (in English). RT.com. http://rt.com/news/features/iss-crew-new-year/. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  16. "Vologda Oblast Press Release: Ded Moroz Russia and Europe Travel Plans in Nov and Dec 2010 – Nov 16, 2010" (in en). Vologda Oblast. http://vologda-oblast.ru/inform.asp?id=39759&LNG=ENG. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  17. "Vologda Oblast Press Release: Ded Moroz visits Peine, Germany from 26 to 28 Nov 2010 – Nov 26, 2010" (in en). Vologda Oblast. http://vologda-oblast.ru/inform.asp?id=39912&LNG=ENG. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  18. "November 18 is Russian Santa Claus' birthday – November 18, 2010" (in en). News BCM. http://www.newsbcm.com/doc/460. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  19. "November 18 is Russian Santa Claus' birthday – November 18, 2010" (in en). News BCM. http://www.newsbcm.com/doc/460. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  20. "Official GLONASS Tracks Father Frost Website" (in Russian). Official GLONASS Tracks Father Frost. http://dedmoroz.ascont.ru/. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  21. "Russian Grandfather Frost! - December 2007" (in en). Passport Masocow. http://www.passportmagazine.ru/article/983/. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "9 Holiday Characters From Around the World by Ethan Trex, 4 Dec 2010" (in en). Mental Floss. http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/43013. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  23. "Snegurochka: The Snow Maiden in Russian Culture by Kerry Kubilius" (in en). About.com. http://goeasteurope.about.com/od/russianculture/a/snegurochkathesnowmaiden.htm. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  24. "Father Frost students practice Xmas tricks at Moscow Santa School on 27 December 2010" (in en). RT. http://rt.com/news/prime-time/santa-claus-school-moscow/. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  25. "Moscow school set to instruct a new generation of Santas, RIA Novosti, Dec 6, 2005" (in en). RIA Novosti. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20051206/42334770.html. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  26. "Magnetic north pole drifting fast - 12 December 2005" (in en). BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4520982.stm. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  27. "Do super storms indicate that earth’s magnetic polarity is about to switch? - February 8, 2011" (in en). The k2p blog. http://ktwop.wordpress.com/tag/north-magnetic-pole/. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  28. "Russia Pushes To Claim Arctic As Its Own - by David Greene - August 16, 201" (in en). NPR. http://www.npr.org/2011/08/16/139577789/russia-pushes-to-claim-arctic-as-its-own. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 


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