September 27, 2023

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Mars simulations found that one personality type should probably not colonize the Red Planet

Mars simulations found that one personality type should probably not colonize the Red Planet

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

Humans must decide to establish a permanent outpost on another planet (and remember, humans have been living constantly 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 arXivwhich has yet to be reviewed, attempts to reduce some of those unknowns, running several simulations over 28 years to determine which colony size created the best chance of survival.

Previous studies have tried to answer this question. In 2020 one determines that 110 is the number of people needed to perform 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 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 that the colony will receive regular supplies from land, assuming that sending supplies will be more cost-effective than sending humans to expand the size of the colony.

An agent simulator basically assigns attributes to agents (think of setting up your characters in sims) and then simulates the colonists’ workdays as well as interactions with other mates (think sims But without the usual psychological torture).

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“Each agent is given skills associated with their civilian and military occupational specializations consistent with the NASA Human Factors and Behavioral Performance Elements,” the team explained in their report. paper“which analyzed capabilities that would be generalizable 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 include personality in simulating agents, giving agents these different types of personality: Accords, which were low in competitiveness and aggressiveness; Social people, who are extroverts and need social interaction; reaction, who have a “competitive personal orientation” and are “focused on tough action”; and Neurotics, who are highly competitive, aggressive, and unable to handle boredom and a change to routine.

Each agent had a lifebar that could deplete and kill them. Resupplys of new Martians with their characters will occur periodically to fill Dead Space’s shoes. Simulations were run for 28 years and with different numbers of people starting colonies, ranging from 10-170. They found that the lowest number needed to maintain a colony was 22, which is significantly lower than the previous study that did not assume regular resupply missions.

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 are equally likely to be affected by settlement resource shortages, habitat accidents, or land-shipping disasters, Martians with a ‘neurotic’ psyche die at a much higher rate than those with another psyche.”

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

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

“Martians with neuropsychology and high adaptive capacity benefit least from interaction with other Martians, and are punished more if they have low adaptive capacity. Our results suggest that this effect is a driver of low population Martians, and one-time if it is minimized or Removing it, it can result in a stable settlement.”

Human interactions are of course a lot less simple than they are in these models that simplify things to try to find directions. Realistic simulations run, locking residents inside fake Martian habitats and simulating life on the planet, and all the problems that can come with it.

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

The study is available on a prepress server arXiv.