Humans may one day live on other worlds. Image Credit: NASA
A new study has calculated how many people it would take to viably populate another planet.
In the future we may see generational ships heading out across the stars on voyages lasting thousands of years in the hopes of finding new Earth-like worlds to colonize.
Back in 2002, anthropologist John Moore calculated that such a ship would need at least 150 people in order to survive a 2,000-year trip across the cosmos, but is this really enough ? A more recent study conducted by Cameron Smith or Portland State University has cast doubt on this conclusion and suggests that a more realistic number to ensure survival would be between 10,000 and 40,000 people.
These figures were reached by taking in to account the necessary genetic diversity of a population, the possibility of disease or disaster along the way and the likely growth rate from natural births.
"I did this study to materially help in putting together the millions of puzzle pieces that will be required to allow humanity to spread out from our earthly cradle," he said.
Source: Popular Mechanics | Comments (54)
Planet, Population, Colonization