Only 22 people may be enough to colonize Mars, but they need to have certain personality types. However, not everyone agrees with this theory – some scientists suggest that the colony will need more people, writes Live Science.
To estimate how many people would be needed to colonize the planet, the researchers used a computer simulation called ABM. This program calculates how well groups respond to complex scenarios based on their personality types.
Therefore, ABM considered four types of personalities: compliant – not too competitive or aggressive; social – extroverts who feel good in a social environment; reactive – those who try to cope with changes in routine; neurotic – those who are very competitive and aggressive.
The model then changed the number of people of each type as they performed key tasks, such as mining on Mars and agriculture.
In the end, the researchers found that if most people were docile or social, only 22 people would be enough to sustain the colony. However, with more neurotics and reactive people, the number of required resettlers would be higher.
However, the study has serious limitations. For example, the model assumes that someone else built the colony’s infrastructure: buildings, vehicles, and other equipment. It was also assumed that the first colonists would have a seven-year supply of energy from a mini-nuclear reactor, like those that power the Mars rovers, and would receive regular supplies from Earth.
ABM also simulated only the first 28 years of the colony’s existence. The calculations were considered successful if at least 10 people survived by the end of the mission. So not everyone is convinced that a colony with that many people could survive in reality, especially if the ultimate goal is to create a self-sufficient civilization on the Red Planet.
“Twenty-two people is not enough to build and sustain a fully functioning and autonomous colony on Mars,” Jean-Marc Salotti, an astronautics researcher at the IMS (integration from material to systems) laboratory in Bordeaux, France, told Live Science.”
According to his research, at least 110 people are needed to colonize Mars.
Earlier it was reported that the Perseverance rover found evidence of organic compounds in the crater Jezero on Mars. Although this is not conclusive proof that life once existed on Mars – these compounds could have been formed in non-biological ways – the results of the study hint at surprisingly complex organic conditions for the “key building blocks for life” on the neighboring planet.