Link: “Magic number” for space pioneers calculated – 15 February 2002 – New Scientist

“Magic number” for space pioneers calculated – 15 February 2002 – New Scientist

The “magic number” of people needed to create a viable population for multi-generational space travel has been calculated by researchers. It is about the size of a small village – 160. But with some social engineering it might even be possible to halve this to 80. Anthropologist John Moore from University of Florida tackled the problem as part of a combined effort with space scientists to determine how in future humans might successfully undertake century-long journeys out into space. In the past, attention has been focused on cryogenics, sperm banks and military-style modes of operation, says Moore, but “the ‘right stuff’ for a journey into space is the family – a million-year-old institution designed to assist reproduction.”
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