Global  

How many humans needed to start a colony on Mars? 110, a new study finds

National Post Wednesday, 24 June 2020 ()
In the 2015 science fiction movie ‘The Martian,’ Matt Damon’s character Mark Watney was stranded on Mars after a mission went wrong. Against all odds, he managed to survive on the Red Planet for over a year-and-a-half, before he was rescued and returned to Earth.

However, had Watney had the help of 109 others during his stay, he could have set up a permanent home, a new scientific study has concluded.

The study, written by Jean-Marc Salotti from the Bordeaux Institut National Polytechnique, calculated that a mere 110 people could be enough to create the tools and supplies needed to found a civilization on Mars.

Salotti calculated the number by using a mathematical model to determine ‘the feasibility of survival on another planet.’

“If this relatively low number is confirmed, survival on another planet might be easier than expected, provided that the organization of the settlers is appropriate,” he wrote in his paper, published on the science research website, Nature.

His model, Salotti explained, depended on a number of factors. Assuming that the number of resources brought from Earth would be limited, he stated that survival on Mars would primarily rely on two variables: “available local resources,” such as gas, liquid, or a mineral found within the planet, and the settlers’ “production capacity.”

· NASA will launch Mars 2020 rover to hunt Martian fossils
· NASA's chief scientist says we may not be prepared for revelations from missions to the Red Planet
· A mega-tsunami drowned Mars and left a 120-kilometre-wide scar — here's what may have caused it

In order for settlers to survive, their capacity to work must be more than the amount of time required to build tools, he wrote. Their survival also depends on organization within the group, and the settlers’ capacity to share. This sharing capacity would, in turn, help the settlers become more efficient and more able to specialize the work.

He also noted that even though there may be enough people who could work together to survive on Mars, the “small society” still comes with its risks.

“Infertility, inbreeding, sudden deaths, accidents or random events,” were listed as examples, with Salotti adding that fights between individuals and loss of efficiency due to “inappropriate organization” could also factor into the collapse of the group.

“This is especially true at the beginning of the settlement, as any accident could dramatically reduce the production capacity,” he wrote. “In order to mitigate the risks, it will therefore be important to start with large amounts of resources and spare parts.”

Ultimately, the calculation remains hypothetical, but it still marks the “first quantitative assessment of the minimum number of individuals for survival based on engineering constraints,” Salotti wrote. His work suggests, he says, that human habitation of Mars may be easier than previously thought.

The findings come after the U.S. tech billionaire Elon Musk announced that he would be ramping up investments in his SpaceX programme, in the hope of some day starting a human colony on Mars.
0
shares
ShareTweetSavePostSend
 
Video credit: AmazeLab - Published
News video: At Least 110 People Are Needed to Start a Mars Colony, Study Finds

At Least 110 People Are Needed to Start a Mars Colony, Study Finds 00:57

Ever wonder how many people we’d need to start and sustain a new civilization on Mars? A professor at France's Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux has crunched the numbers.

Related videos from verified sources

Earth's Largest Uninhabited Island is a Training Ground for Mars [Video]

Earth's Largest Uninhabited Island is a Training Ground for Mars

Nicknamed ‘Mars on Earth,’ Devon Island’s barren, rocky landscape and harsh climate sends researchers flocking there every summer to study how humans might live on the Red Planet. Its Haughton..

Credit: AmazeLab     Duration: 00:54Published

Related news from verified sources

How many humans are needed to start a colony on Mars?

A new study has determined that only 110 people are needed to help build a functioning and self-sustaining human colony on Mars.
CTV News


Tweets about this

DrTao

Catherine Dibble RT @PDWilliamsGWU: How many humans are needed to start a colony on #Mars? A new study says a mere 110 people could be enough to create the… 3 hours ago

Tav_assoli

Climate Clock Unless you're stupidly rich, now would be a good time to panic. https://t.co/zWPb7wJ8j3 15 hours ago

canadian_sjw

Canadian, eh?🚫🥯👍🏽🍫🥤 How many humans are needed to start a colony on Mars? https://t.co/Ezw5a6D5vI None! because we can’t even take care of this planet! 1 day ago

hongbohe

Hongbo HE How many humans are needed to start a colony on Mars? https://t.co/nzW8pZntWI 1 day ago

RobertTstargate

Robert Tremblay https://t.co/ySuLcLnLlk Just two humans. A male and a female.Let's return to the Dawn of Adam and Eve, dumb and inn… https://t.co/Vc38iOmCGL 1 day ago

ItzQuauhtli

Obsidian Eagle 2020 How many humans are needed to start a colony on Mars? https://t.co/a9J1M5fhJr 1 day ago

ervinpapequash

Ervin L Papequash RT @CTVNews: How many humans are needed to start a colony on Mars? https://t.co/byNOVyI0Ib https://t.co/oRMBaKBrFX 1 day ago

DallasMars

DMS RT @martiansoil: How many humans are needed to start a colony on Mars? https://t.co/ALG80CF90x @BordeauxINP study says at least 110 needed… 2 days ago