Have you ever dreamed of living on Mars? With all the talk of sending people to the Red Planet, you are not alone. Scientists are also considering how a Mars colony could become a reality.
And guess what? A research team has found a surprising answer to one of the biggest questions: How many people would it take to found a successful colony on Mars? The magic number is 22. Yes, only 22 people!
The experiment: calculate the numbers
A group of really smart people at George Mason University wanted to address this question. They didn’t go to Mars (obviously), but created a computer model to simulate what life in a Martian colony would be like.
They used information from real-world situations in which people have lived in close quarters for a long time, such as astronauts on the International Space Station or researchers stranded in the Arctic.
The researchers ran the model five times, each time changing some factors, such as the number of people. In each simulation, they observed what happened over a period of 28 Earth years.
The Results: What Makes or Destroys a Mars Colony
The minimum crew: 22 people
The results were pretty clear. You need at least 22 people to start a successful colony on Mars. Anything less than that and the mission would likely fail.
But why 22? The researchers didn’t give an exact reason, but we can surmise that it has something to do with having enough people to do all the work and also having backups in case someone gets sick or injured.
Personality issues: Be pleasant
You might think that anyone who is physically fit and smart would be good for the mission. But the research found something surprising: Your personality is a big deal.
People who get along well with others and are compatible are more likely to succeed in the mission. They not only survive, but also contribute to the prosperity of the colony.
Avoid the drama: neurotic personalities are not welcome
On the other hand, people who are neurotic, meaning easily stressed and emotionally unstable, were not good for the colony.
They would likely screw up the mission and even die sooner, putting everyone else at risk.
Why It Matters: The Future of Space Colonies
So why do we care about the magic number 22 and the kind of people we need? Because it brings us one step closer to realizing a Mars colony.
Knowing the number and types of people needed will help scientists plan future missions.
It helps them decide who should go and what type of training they need. And who knows? Maybe one day you could be one of those 22 people making history on Mars.
This research gives us a glimpse of what a future on Mars might look like. It’s not just about rockets and technology; It also depends on the right mix of people. After all, what would a colony be without its colonists?
The study was published in arXiv.
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