In the year 2018, in an alternate reality were technology is more advanced than our own, a spaceship is about to take or to the Trappist 1 solar system to set up a colony. During their very long trip, the crew of 25,000 people will all be placed in cryogenic preservation until they reach the destination. There they will set up the colony. My question is what skills would be most valuable in building the colony?

  • The planet they land on is very similar to Earth with the same atmosphere, gravity, and a bearable temperature of about 77 degrees Fahrenheit ( or 25 degrees Celsius) and its gravity is about half of that on Earth.
  • The entire crew was carefully selected by the agency that did the mission beforehand.
  • The crew has enough rations to last them for a few years, and they were given seeds to grow food like tomatoes, potatoes, lentils, etc.
  • They also have large solar panel arrays to provide power to the colony and vehicles to carry them to different locations they need to go to.
  • Also once they land on the planet there is no turning back, so they will be staying there permanently.
  • They have lots of advanced technology like sufficiently intelligent AI and 3D printers.

So what skills would be most needed to help build up the colony and manage it afterwards?

The answers here are for the skills needed to support a large colony with many people, not 80 to 300 like in the other one. This is not a duplicate, I am asking a similar but not the same question. Also, this colony still has contact with earth and they planet they land on isn’t an unknown planet and the colonist still have their advanced tech and cannot lapse into a pre industrial society

  • $\begingroup$ If you find any problems about my question please tell me so I can try and fix it thank you $\endgroup$
    – Bryan
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ With advanced enough technology, machines could be sent to setup for colonisation and do all the work themselves. Machines can do basicly any job, even 'creative' ones if you gave it some basic requirements (really unless it is a smart AI it peobably just has a preset group of questions to build off of). Define what technoology(or types of, or level of) is taken on the trip and actually gets there. $\endgroup$
    – Necessity
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:28
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    $\begingroup$ Seems like the answer depends upon the purpose of the colony, or the standard of living that the colonists expect to have on the far side. If you want a few subsistence-level farms, then the skills are obvious. If you want a culture capable of cities and art and computers and dentistry and spaceships, then you will need considerably more than 2500 and a whole different set of skills. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:30
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    $\begingroup$ Accepting within 45 minutes of posting a question shows unseemly haste. Since WB SE has global participant, please allow, at least, 24 hours before accepting is a good idea. This increases the chances of additional answers & possibly better ones too. Sorry about that @pojo-guy, but you know the ropes. While this is a courtesy, it does help in obtaining good answers. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:39
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    $\begingroup$ We have a policy: Be nice. If you are not nice your comments will be deleted and moderators will be notified of your behaviour. Please re-read your comments before you hit Enter. People are here to help you because you asked for help. If you feel the need to write comments like above take a step back from the keyboard for a minute. That helps. And if you want to notify a user you have to write an "@" in front of their username. You can notify one user per comment and the OP is always notified. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jan 3 '18 at 9:07

Farming and food production

Ironically, Hutterites or hard core Mennonites might be in demand.

Like the other German Anabaptist colony groups (Amish), they have a religious prohibition against excessive expenditures for personal comforts and personal possessions, and are already accustomed to the relatively primitive conditions that will exist in any colony. They are already skilled at living in small communities, and have the social structures in place to manage colonies. Their style of communal child rearing lends itself to colonization because the death or disability of a biological parent will have little more impact than they would with any other adult in the community.

Unlike other German Anabaptist colony groups, they have no qualms against using the latest technology in farming. Hutterite colonies actually derive income from patents for innovations in farming equipment.

Other infrastructure

As attractive as Hutterites etc are for food production, they could survive but not thrive in isolation. Hutterites depend on trade goods to meet even their frugal lifestyles. You would need engineers and tradesmen to establish an industrial base, a limited number of pure researchers (geologists, biologists) to study the new world and find resources, school teachers (a colony without children won't last long), entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, and the occasional 'Mad Amos".

In short, you will need a mix of people such as you might find in any rural town of the same size from USA of the mid 1800's


There are far too many skills that are all equally important in surviving. Farming, Construction, Plumbing, Water stuff, Doctors, Engineers, Electricians and so on. Certain mechanical skills become more important if you have a high level of automation, but in the end you would still need all skills. E.g. You have robots that can be controlled, but eventually you would run out of materials and then you would need mining and metal processing and so on to be able to build replacement parts to keep the robots that replaced farmers and constructions workers and so on. Its just a relentless cycle.

So here it goes... EARTH BENDING would be the most important skill you would have. Being able to physically manipulate the group would allow you to create all the infrastructure you would need for basic survival. Build your houses, use that all important metal bending to place the wires and move your electronics. You could easily construct sewage drains and mine metals just by digging it out. Even better, once you get some Lava benders you can melt all that metal and cast it pretty easily by creating casts using earth. For electrical needs, you could find some magnetic rare earth metals, and get some metal benders to start spinning it and create your own generator.

At the end of the day, if you want a medieval colony, that wouldn't be too hard, but if you want to incorporate electronics and advance tech, you will need to cover everything as there will be a high degree of co-reliance between your people and the technology they use.

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    $\begingroup$ Not +1 this because I dont think it is asking for supernatural(?) means. though maybe I should as I agree with the first paragraph. seriously though, earthbenders are OP, especially in construction. $\endgroup$
    – Necessity
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ not what I was looking for but nice avatar reference $\endgroup$
    – Bryan
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Bryan I know, but it really does get very broad. Maybe a Librarian? or someone who has access to all the knowledge of the world would be the most important position. Farming, construction, waterworks and electrical work will all be super important in establishing a colony. But once you need to maintain the colony, you will have to cover everything, so maybe knowledge and management skills would be far more important. $\endgroup$
    – Shadowzee
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ This is really more wordy than it needs to be ... Ook. $\endgroup$
    – pojo-guy
    Jan 3 '18 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ @pojo-guy of course. There are way too many skills that other professions rely upon. And the higher the level of technology used, the more skills you need. $\endgroup$
    – Shadowzee
    Jan 3 '18 at 4:16


No alien world is going to 100% compatible with Earth lifeforms unless it was terraformed and stocked with plants and animals from Earth before the colonists even arrive.

They will need to be able to build custom lifeforms to terraform the planet or even just to survive on the planet.

With half gravity, chances are they will need to modify their own bodies to cope with the loss of bone density and other health problems.

Nanobot programmers.

Nanobots can be dropped on the planet preprogrammed to extract materials and build entire cities, clear farmland, build machinery and defend the colony from possible alien lifeforms.

No vital skills needed.

In reality if AI is sufficiently advanced, no skill is vital because the AI will be able to do anything a human could better than a human could.

With AI, the frozen humans would be little more than tourists along for the ride. The AI would do all the work and care for it's human masters. Any human skills would be solely for the amusement of the humans such as artists, chefs, poets, writers and musicians. Any vital jobs would be done by the AI.


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