To evolve or not to evolve? That is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of grey goo, or to deny evolution to a sea of self-replicators and by prevention control them? We have been developing a physical self-replicating machine concept for deployment on the Moon built from local resources on the Moon. Here, we are concerned with architectural issues - we specifically address the problem of uncontrolled replication. We propose a multitiered approach to prevent this: (i) denial of self-replication through the implementation of centralised mass manufacturing of replicators; (ii) denial of scarce sodium and chlorine from Earth acts as an Earth-controlled kill switch in preventing further replication; (iii) denial of centralised supplies of asteroidal metals (tungsten-nickel-cobalt-selenium) at the lunar south pole acts as a Moon-controlled kill switch; (iv) denial of online learning capacity through fixed neural weights; (v) denial of extended computing resources through the elimination of transmit communications between self-replicators; (vi) denial of evolutionary capacity by implementing error detection and correction (EDAC) coding. Two kill switches and EDAC provide the backbone to our approach that maintain self-replication capability.

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