How many people are needed for the survival of a colony on Mars: scientists have named an unexpected figure
For the successful functioning of a human colony on Mars there should live there only 22 people. This is almost five times less than previously thought.
This is stated in a paper by researchers from George Mason University (USA), published on the site preprints arXiv. The material must be peer-reviewed by the scientific community for the theories outlined in it to be recognized as correct.
It was previously thought that a colony on Mars could successfully function if 100 people lived there. But the researchers believe that the preliminary calculations were based on assumptions that do not correspond to reality.
"We tend to often treat humans as numbers or particles devoid of personal stimuli, heterogeneity and adaptability," Anamaria Berea, an assistant professor of computer and data science at George Mason University and co-author of the study, told The Register in a commentary.
She is convinced that human groups are complex systems "where the outcome is not the sum of the parts, but is synergistic". That is, each individual gives not only his or her own performance, but also improves the performance of other individuals in the colony.
"Any social system has the properties of adaptability, emergent and nonlinear dynamics," Berea noted.
That said, the researchers expressed doubt that a colony on Mars would be independent of Earth and suggested that there would be a close connection between the planets.
"The scenario where you can just send X number of people somewhere and just let them survive is very unlikely," she said.
In particular, the researcher noted, it would be cheaper for Earth to send supplies to Mars than a new batch of colonizers.
In the study, scientists used a computer modeling technique that assumed that different colonists would have a variety of attributes and perform certain duties.
It did not do without a weak link. It turned out that in no case should neurotics be sent to colonize Mars.
"Martians with "neurotic" psychology die much faster than those with other psychologies, and once their population (in the colony. - Ed.) reaches a low enough level, the population of the settlement stabilizes," the article says.
A total of five simulations were conducted, each lasting 28 years on Mars. It was from the results of these simulations that the researchers concluded that 22 people are needed to "maintain a viable colony size in the long term."
Earlier OBOZREVATEL also told when humans will be able to colonize Mars.
Also watch the video of what a Martian colony from Elon Musk's SpaceX could be like.