22 people are enough to found a colony on Mars, according to a new study


 A recent analysis found that only 20 astronauts would be required to establish and manage a Mars colony. It would be conceivable to sustain a habitat on the red planet with this little population, as opposed to earlier estimates of about 100 individuals.

For nearly 60 years, robot explorers have called Mars home, but when it comes to putting people down there, things get a little more complicated. Elon Musk intends to send the first humans to Mars with SpaceX's enormous Starship rocket, which has been under development for several years.

In under 20 years, the billionaire intends to bring roughly 100,000 people there to build an entirely autonomous metropolis. A new analysis, though, suggests that it wouldn't be necessary to send as many humans to Mars in the end. A Martian colony might be established and maintained with just 22 individuals.


In a recent study that was posted to the arXiv preprint server, a team of researchers examined the social behaviors and psychological interactions of potential Mars colonists and came to the conclusion that the colony might be built and sustained with a fairly small population.
In order to do this, the researchers employed agent-based modeling (ABM), which is frequently used to examine interactions between people, things, places, and time, to develop a computer model of a Mars colony. They also studied historical data on high-performing teams working in difficult conditions, such as battles, submarines, arctic missions, and the International Space Station.
The computer simulation took place over the course of 28 Earth days, with varying numbers of participants in each group—from 10 to 170—in each. The simulation, according to the researchers, also tested four distinct personalities to determine how they would react to encounters between individuals who varied in expertise, stress, and resilience.


The study's findings suggest that the magic number for the smallest colonist population that might establish and support a Mars colony is 22. The scientists discovered that people who were receptive, outgoing, and pleasant could function without issues in the model Mars colony. Not unexpectedly, they also discovered that persons with neurotic disorders had a significantly higher death rate than people with other personality types.

Therefore, the researchers' primary goal in conducting this study was to demonstrate how crucial it is for future space adventures to consider human behavior rather than simply the sheer quantity of people. "We wanted to show that if we neglect the social, behavioral, and psychological aspects of space explorations, we can be seriously wrong in our estimates, predictions, and projections," said Berea.

Most likely, Earth will provide support to any Martian colony in the form of resupplies and even personnel reinforcements, but because these travels take months or years, the colony will need to be mostly self-sufficient in order to exist. The first expedition to Mars will almost certainly be a one-way excursion, but NASA has not yet said how many humans will take part in the trip.