In his new study, Professor Jean-Marc Salotti from France's Bordeaux Institut National Polytechnique determines that only 110 people are needed to help build goods and set up a colony to start a new civilization on Mars.
His paper discusses how the small community would have to reside in an oxygen-filled dome. Inside the dome, they would build their own agricultural industry necessary to sustain life on the red planet. The full findings of this paper were published in the journal Scientific Reports on June 16, 2020.
The research paper came after the US billionaire Elon Musk announced that he would be investing into his SpaceX program, hoping that one day he could colonize Mars. Just recently, he sent the first commercial rocket boarding astronauts to the international space station.
The Mathematical Probability of the Survival on Mars
Using a mathematical model, Professor Salotti was able to come up with a number to determine 'the feasibility of survival on another planet'. He said that his main problems to solve were the feasibility of survival on a different planet and of how to be self-sustaining.
He explains how those factors are crucial for future space expeditions and maybe for the future of humanity in general, as well. In his mathematical model, he determines the minimum number of inhabitants on a foreign planet. He used Mars as an example in his paper.
Professor Salotti adds that his math model was based on the relation between the time requirements for implementing human activities necessary for long-term survival and the available time of the occupants.
He states in his study that the use of situated resources and various social organizations have been projected. However, there is still an inadequate understanding of the problem's variables.
110 Volunteers for Mars Colony
The sharing factor, which grants a cutback on time requirements per individual, is a vital specification in his model, Salotti says. For instance, if a specific activity involves the construction of a structure or object, the task could be shared by many individuals.
He assumes that to establish survival on Mars, the major issues to be addressed would be the organization of the habitants and engineering concerns. Finally, he came up with the number of 110 individuals being the minimum number of inhabitants on Mars.
Survival would depend on the colony's access to natural resources, according to the Bordeaux Institut National Polytechnique expert. Additionally, people's working time requirements being less than their working time capacity would also be an important factor, he says.
In his study, he also made up situations and assumptions wherein support from the Earth had been cut off due to various reasons, such as war. He also anticipated circumstances wherein resources would be scarce or if the settlers suddenly declared an independent Martian republic.
The factors Professor Salotti used in his study are the number of settlers, the main engineering selection for agriculture, what living conditions are adequate, industry and life support, and the sharing and organization of resources.
He says that if this relatively low number is proved to be accurate, chances of survival on another planet might be less complicated than expected. As long as the organization of the settlers is appropriate, he finds that survival on Mars could be attainable.