Simulations suggest only 22 people are required to start a colony on Mars

Colony On Mars: Simulations Suggest only 22 people are required to start | Enterprise Wired

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The minimal number required to establish a human colony on Mars is 22, according to simulations conducted by a team of computational social scientists at George Mason University. On the arXiv preprint server, the group has posted a paper outlining their simulation.

Scientists are looking at ways to get over the obstacles that stand in the way of setting up a colony on Mars as people around the world consider the prospect of sending people there in the future. The team says that figuring out how many people and what kinds of people would be needed to support a Mars colony is one issue that has to be addressed.

Those with amiable dispositions were to flourish

The team built a model that simulated a Mars colony to determine how many people are necessary to establish a successful colony on Mars as well as the qualities that are most likely to make such a colony successful. They did this by using information from previous projects, such as surveys completed by individuals living in close quarters in the Arctic for extended periods or groups aboard the International Space Station. Additionally, they made an effort to take into account well-known personality factors such as stress tolerance, social skills, and neuroticism level.

The research team ran five simulations, each simulating a colony for 28 Earth years while altering variables between runs, such as the population.

They discovered that 22 people were the absolute minimum. Additionally, they discovered that those with amiable dispositions were, predictably, more likely to flourish on such a mission and help the colony continue. However, they discovered that those with neurotic personalities were more likely to fail their goal and pass away earlier than others, endangering the operation’s overall success.

Colonizing Mars: How SpaceX and NASA Make It Possible

Face challenges related to psychological and human behavior

The experts stated that future colonists “will face challenges related to psychological and human behavior in addition to the technical and engineering challenges.” They developed an “agent-based modeling” simulation to make sure our Mars explorers cooperate to “better understand” how this might function. Five simulations were performed, each simulating a colony for 28 Earth years.

They assigned the simulation’s settlers to one of four “basic personality types”: neurotic, reactive, sociable, or pleasant. Additionally, they discovered that the pleasant personality type had a higher chance of surviving. Contrary to prior research, we discover that tens, not hundreds, of people with all personality types, are the bare minimum that can result in a sustainable settlement. The 22 Martian inhabitants should function as “high-performing teams” capable of thriving “in isolated and high-stress environments.”

Ideally, such spacemen and women would be accustomed to cramped and frequently chaotic environments, such as those found in

submarines, arctic excursions, aboard the International Space Station, and even battle situations.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, might meet the criteria following the turbulent few months that X, formerly known as Twitter, has had.

Curious to learn more? Explore our articles on Enterprise Wired

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