Just 22 People Needed to Colonize Mars But One Personality Type Should Stay Out – Study

Just 22 People Needed to Colonize Mars But One Personality Type Should Stay Out - Study
Just 22 People Needed to Colonize Mars But One Personality Type Should Stay Out - Study

Africa-Press – Namibia. The simulation tested four different personality types to see how each would fare in the colony—one in particular stood out to researchers.

New findings have revealed that a substantially low number of people are required for the amount of colonists needed to occupy Mars.

Studies have previously attempted to guess just how many people are needed to colonize the red planet. In 2020, one study by professor Jean-Marc Salotti at Bordeaux Institut National Polytechnique (INP) found that 110 people would be necessary for fulfilling duties on Mars.

However, this most recent study found that a much smaller number of people is necessary for colonizing Mars. Researchers determined that the magic number was just 22 people.

Officials came to the conclusion after running multiple 28-year simulations and using 10 to 170 “people” to start their “colonies.” The simulation also differed from the study in 2020, because it assumed that the colony had already been constructed and that food, air, and water could be produced locally. The authors also assumed power was being generated in their simulation.

But the researchers also delved deeper into the complexity of their simulated individuals.

Researchers additionally created four different personality types for their simulations, including: Agreeables, who are not very competitive nor aggressive; Socials, who are extroverted and require social interaction; Reactives, who have a “competitive interpersonal orientation” and are “fixated on stringent routines”; and Neurotics, who are very competitive and aggressive, and are also unable to take on boredom as well as change to routine.

“We wanted to show that if we neglect the social, behavioral and psychological aspects of space explorations, we can err grossly in our estimations, predictions and projections,” Anamaria Berea, co-author on the study, told one outlet.

The researchers found those who were “neurotic” were the most likely to die. They were also the most likely to suffer while living on the colony, and, the colony even improved when fewer Neurotics existed.

“While the members of the settlement have an equal probability of being affected by lack of settlement resources, habitat accidents, or earth shipping disasters, Martians with the ‘neurotic’ psychology die at a much higher rate than those of other psychologies,” the team wrote.

“Once their population reaches a low enough level, the settlement population stabilizes.”

“Martians with neurotic psychology and a high coping capacity benefit the least from interaction with other Martians, and are penalized the most if they have a low coping capacity. Our results suggest that this effect is a driver of the Martian population decline, and once minimized or removed, can produce a stable settlement,” they added.

The study comes as one real-life simulation constructed by NASA began in late June; four volunteers entered a simulated Mars habitat in Houston, Texas, and are expected to remain there for 378 days. The individuals include a structural engineer, an emergency medicine physician and a microbiologist, however, none of the volunteers are trained astronauts.

The preprint paper, titled “An Exploration of Mars Colonization with Agent-Based Modeling,” was published to the server arXiv.

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