Santa in space

Long-time readers will know that I have occasionally written about the fledgling scientific field of clausotechnolometry, the study of the advanced technology used by Santa Claus.

While browsing the Web this week, I discovered there had been a great advancement in clausotechnolometry that I had overlooked. It came in the form of an exclusive interview with the reclusive Mr. Claus conducted by NASA’s Space Science News site back in 1999. The interview’s focus is Claus’s plans to expand his delivery service throughout the solar system as humans establish colonies on other worlds.

This is of great concern to NASA, with its new mandate to return people to the Moon and go to Mars, since who will want to live on the Moon if Santa can’t deliver presents there?

Claus told NASA the Moon won’t be much of a challenge, since lunar colonies will probably keep Earth time–he’ll just add them to his regular route. “The reindeer will gripe about having to put on spacesuits,” he says, “but we’ll get used to it.”

Mars may be harder. Claus points out that the Martian year is almost two Earth years long, which means every other year he’ll have to add a Mars run to the regular Earth-Moon run. Fortunately the Martian day is 37 minutes longer than an Earth day, so he’ll have a bit more time to do his usual overnight delivery.

Colonies elsewhere in the solar system are decades away, but Claus has given some thought to the unique problems posed by the other planets. Venus is a tough one, with a surface temperature hot enough to melt lead, a thick, unbreathable atmosphere, and clouds of sulfuric acid. Not only that, but the year is just 224 Earth days long, so Christmas comes around every eight Earth months. On the other hand, Venus’s day is 243 Earth days long–which means Claus can take all the time he wants to deliver presents, and everyone still gets them the same night!

Mercury’s year is just 88 Earth days, bringing Christmas around every three months–great for Mercurian kids, but a bit of a strain on old Claus.

Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth but spins around every nine hours and 55 minutes, giving Santa very little time to get the job done. Its toxic atmosphere will require the reindeer to wear environmental suits, too. (Oddly, Claus doesn’t mention needing one himself–more on that later.)

Claus says he’s considering turning Europa, Jupiter’s largest moon, into a branch office–since Europa is covered with ice, he figures the elves will feel at home there..

Claus doesn’t figure he has to worry about Saturn, 9.5 times further from the sun than Earth, for a long, long time, although he says he’d love to cruise the rings in his sleigh. Uranus and Neptune are even further out–from Uranus, Claus mentions, it would take almost seven hours for a radio message to get back to Earth. Then he drops a real bombshell: “I always send Mrs. Claus a message to start warming up the hot coca, just before I head back to the North Pole. Why, I’ll be home before the message arrives!” Which means that Santa Claus can travel faster than light–an admission of something clausotechnolometrist have long suspected!

Finally, Claus mentions Pluto, 39 times farther from the Sun than Earth, with a year that’s 247 Earth years long, and a leisurely rotation period of six Earth days and 18 hours. Claus likes the idea of Christmas only once every 247 years. “Once we get to Pluto, I might just set up shop there and the human race can keep my calendar,” he tells NASA. (Note: “the human race”–as if he isn’t part of it!)

Of course, Claus quickly insists he’s just joking, and Christmas will continue once a year on Earth as always.

So now we know Santa Claus: 1) knows a great deal about outer space; 2) knows how to make spacesuits for reindeer; 3) may not need a spacesuit himself in alien environments; 4) has apparently mastered the art of faster-than-light travel; 5) does not consider himself part of “the human race.”

There’s only one possible conclusion: Santa Claus is an extraterrestrial!

This will turn the field of clausotechnolometry on its head, and I intend to publish my theory in the very next issue of the field’s principal journal, Clausotechnolometry Illustrated…

…after taking some time off for Christmas, of course.

Merry Christmas, and may Santa–whatever he is–be good to you.

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Easy AdSense Pro by Unreal