Only 98 People Are Enough For A 6000-Year Long Space Journey to Alpha Centauri


For a successful space journey and colonization of another planet, we need only 98 people. This figure is taken from a study by French astronomers and physicists. Meanwhile, a Harvard physicist has a better idea: instead of transporting people to a new planet, it would make more sense to transfer their DNA drawings and reconstruct them there.

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Many scientists believe that we should look for a new planet for relocation. Whether due to climate change, overpopulation, or perhaps an asteroid, they claim that the Earth, as we know it, will not be eternal. So, we’d better start looking for a new place to live.

Space journey
Space journey to Proxima Centauri. Image source: M. Kornmesser / ESO

One of the most suitable planets for this is considered to be Proxima Centauri b, an exoplanet in the Alpha Centauri galaxy. The planet is in the “Goldilocks zone” of its star, which means that it is not too hot and not too cold. At this temperature, liquid water can exist on it, which means that there can be life there. This means that people are more likely to move to a new planet and populate it.

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A plan has already been developed worth $100 million to send a probe there to find out if there is Proxima Centauri life in any of its manifestations.

Scientists from France Frédéric Marin and C. Belaffi conducted research to calculate how many people we will need to be sent to Proxima Centauri b in order to survive the journey of six millennia? Taking into account life expectancy, birth rate and much more, they came to the conclusion that only 98 people would be needed to compose a team – 49 men and 49 women.

“In accordance with a set of parameters, only a minimum crew of 98 people is required to ensure a 100% success rate for the more than 6,000 years space flight in the direction of the nearest known exoplanet to date,”, according to the researchers.

But Dr. Avi Loeb, head of the Harvard Department of Astronomy, head of the project, explained that there are many technical problems associated with space travel of several generations of people. It’s premature to present these problems, not knowing which specific power plant will be used on this trip, as this will determine its risks and duration. The human body is not built to survive the harsh environment of space.

Later he said: “My own prediction is that we are more likely to send robots equipped with artificial intelligence and 3D printers rather than people for these long journeys to exoplanets.”

Loeb is sure that this is a reliable method so that people on the long space journey do not get lost in space. This way, we can keep the duplicates we need on Earth in case something happens along the way.

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