In a bid to rebrand the game, the National Hockey League is partnering with NASA to build the first robot hockey players and send them to Mars.
“Of course, it’s expensive, but think of the merchandising,” says NHL spokesperson, Robert Shill. “We also need to be thinking about the future of the game, and now that the lockout is over, it is time to open up this new market.”
The joint mission was hastily planned after a lake of water ice was discovered in the Vastitas Borealis, a broad plain that covers much of Mars’ far northern latitudes.
Mars is currently uninhabited — or inhabitable for that matter — but this has not deterred the NHL from going ahead with their plans.
Officials at NASA are happy to have the extra revenue stream the NHL will provide, but do not know if there will be much scientific merit to the mission.
“We have adapted some inexpensive Japanese robots, replacing most of their sensors with skates and graphite hockey sticks,” says Jennifer Groove, Director of NASA’s Dubious Programs Council, speaking at the joint media conference.
“Eventually, we hope to add laser cutters and other forms of offensive weaponry,” Shill added.
“The puck will be replaced with a small explosive charge that will go off if it exceeds a velocity determined at random at the start of the game. Until the first robot blows up, nobody will know what that will be!” Shill shouted. “We want the Mars NHL game to be as exciting as possible.”
The mission is planned for next year, and Shill says the Mars NHL season will coincide with the usual summer break of the regular NHL season.
“Yes,” Groove said, nodding her head. “THAT makes sense.”
Ice lake found on red planet