Mars Settlement Population Simulator: An Introduction

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M. Poliacek (2020), JBIS, 73, pp.55-61

Refcode: 2020.73.55
Keywords: Mars, Population, Simulator, Human spaceflight, Society, Demographics

Settling Mars is a complex multidisciplinary topic requiring an intricate analysis to minimise the risk of failures and unexpected situations in its implementation. One of the critical aspects for the survival and successful expansion of a Martian settlement is a properly planned model for its growth, which faces constraints related to available resources and management of demographics that are generally difficult to simulate analogously on Earth. This paper presents a prototype software tool for modelling the establishment and growth of a population of a pioneer settlement on Mars. The main loop of the application runs a simulation using a selected set of parameters, returning information about the evolution of population and the resulting state of the settlement in terms of inhabitants, demographics, and crew-hours of labour available. The software enables consulting possible population growth strategies to be adopted for establishing a Mars settlement and their individual impacts on system design choices to be evaluated. New rules and changes to the model can be easily added, as the application is open source, publicly available, and largely modular. The program features a graphical user interface for easy interaction. The development language of choice is Python.

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