Mars Simulation finds that one personality type probably shouldn’t colonize the Red Planet

A new study ran simulations of Martian colonies to determine the ideal number of Martian residents needed for such a settlement to survive, and also found that some personality types probably should shy away from such a mission.

Should humans decide to establish a permanent outpost on another planet (and remember, humans have been living continuously in space ever since 2000, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility) We’ll run into a lot of unknowns. New research published on a prepress server arXivIt, which has yet to be reviewed, attempts to reduce some of those unknowns, by running multiple simulations over 28 years to determine which colony size created the best chance of survival.

Previous studies have attempted to answer this question. In 2020, someone determined that 110 is the number of people needed to fulfill all the duties necessary for their survival without exceeding the working capacity of the colonists. Inspired With that paper, this new team made slightly different assumptions about life on the Red Planet, including that a colony had already been built and that food, air and water could be produced locally, and that that energy was being generated on the planet as well.

One major difference is that they model such that the colony receives a regular supply of land, assuming that sending back supplies will be more cost-effective than sending humans to expand the size of the colony.

Agent simulations basically assign attributes to agents (think of setting up your characters in sims) then simulates the colonists’ workdays as well as interactions with other fellows (think sims But without the usual psychological torture).

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The team explained in its report: “Each customer is given skills related to his civilian and military occupational specializations in accordance with NASA’s research on human factors and elements of behavioral performance.” paper“,” which analyzed capabilities that could be generalized across conditions and crew roles and those that would be required by all crew members during a 30-month expedition to Mars.”

The team also tried to bring personality into client simulations, giving clients these different types of personalities: acceptors, who had low competitiveness and aggressiveness; Social, extroverted and need social interaction; interactors, who have a “competitive interpersonal orientation” and “focus their attention on rigid routines”; and neurotics, who are highly competitive, aggressive, and unable to overcome boredom and change in routine.

Each agent had a life bar that could drain and kill them. New Martians, with their own personalities, will be resupplied periodically to fill the dead space. Simulations were run for 28 years, and with different numbers of people starting colonies, ranging from 10 to 170. They found that the lowest number needed to maintain a colony was 22, which is significantly lower than the previous study that did not undertake regular resupply tasks.

What they didn’t expect was the death rate among neurotics.

“The first observed phenomenon occurs in the decline of the Martian population,” the team wrote. “While members of a settlement have an equal likelihood of being affected by a settlement’s resource shortages, habitat accidents, or terrestrial navigation disasters, Martians with ‘neurotic’ psychology die at a much higher rate than those with other mental illnesses.”

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“Once their population reaches a sufficiently low level, the settlement population stabilizes.”

The team noted that neurotic personalities struggled during life in the colony, and the colony improved when there were fewer people with this personality type.

“Martians with high neuropsychological and adaptive capacity benefit the least from interaction with other Martians, and suffer the greatest penalty if they have low adaptive capacity. Our results suggest that this effect is a driver of lower population Martians, and once they are Reducing or eliminating them can lead to a stable settlement.

Human interactions are of course less simple than in these models which simplify things to try to find directions. Simulations are made of real life, in which the inhabitants are trapped within fake Martian habitats and simulate life on the planet, and all the problems that can come with it.

“Analog is critical to testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on Mars,” Grace Douglas, principal scientist for NASA’s advanced food technology research effort at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in the 2021 report. statement. “Simulations on Earth will help us understand and address the physical and mental challenges that astronauts will face before they leave.”

The study is available on a prepress server arXiv.

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