Extraterrestrial Analogues

Before traveling millions of miles away to Mars, it might be good to test out whatever vehicles or other equipment you plan to use there. But how to do that when you’re still here here on Earth? It turns out that our planet holds quite a few terrains that are very similar to what you might find on the Moon or Mars.

Last month, the European Space Agency released a guide to these places. Called The Catalogue of Planetary Analogues, it includes everything from impact craters to tundra to deserts to volcanic areas, taking into account microbial habitats along with the land formations. From Chile to Namibia, Antarctica to Arizona, these landscapes really are as alien as outer space…

Browse the complete guide to Extraterrestrial Analogues: Seven Places That Really Are Like Being on the Moon and Mars, on Atlas Obscura!