What are current known feasible plans to establish self-replicating assets on Mars? On Wikipedia, there are references to NASA plans telling that up to 80% could be manufactured, but is there any progress in this direction? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_mining#Self-replicating_machines

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clanking_replicator#Prospects_for_implementation


There are no concrete plans for off-world self-replicating systems. NASA is studying the idea (and has been for decades), but we're too far away from any self-replicating system to start designing one for Mars.

Perhaps the group closest to achieving the goal of self-replication is the community trying to build self-replicating 3D printers, but they're not there yet (can't replicate the electronics, for example).

  • $\begingroup$ thank you - I think maybe there will be some intermediate solution e.g. have a complex of machines which can together group-self-replicate more than 50% of components. $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Jun 6 '17 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ @J.Doe: Some manufacturing machinery for a colony is a given. The round-trip is too long to depend on delivery of replacement parts from Earth. This will likely not be a classic "self-replication" but a combination of machining, 3D printing and ISRU manufacture of raw materials, in major parts manual or computer-aided, not fully automatic. $\endgroup$ – SF. Jun 6 '17 at 14:36

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