Current trends in technology indicate that nanometer-scale devices will be feasible within two decades. It is likely that NASA will attempt a manned Mars mission within the next few decades. Manned Mars activities will be relatively labor-intensive, presenting significant risk of damage to the Marssuit. We have investigated two possible architectures for nanotechnology applied to the problem of damage during Mars surface activity.
Nanorobots can be used to actively repair damaged suit materials while an astronaut is in the field, reducing the need to return immediately to a pressurized area. Assembler nanorobots reproduce both themselves and the more specialized Marssuit Repair Nanorobots (MRN). MRN nanorobots operate as space-filling polyhedra to repair damage to a Marssuit. Both operate with reversible mechanical logic, though only assemblers utilize chemical data storage.