There are many different Moon and Mars lookalike test areas around the world.
The newest was inaugurated on 26 September 2023 in Oberpfaffenhofen at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Robotics and Mechatronics Center (RMC). This new combined Moon and Mars yard offers ideal conditions to prepare robots for planetary exploration tasks.
The Moon and Mars are stated targets of European and international space exploration. Before humans embark on these journeys, robots will explore inhospitable areas, develop local resources and prepare for the landing of astronauts as comprehensively as possible.
Exploration missions with autonomous mobile robots will therefore increase significantly in the coming years. Therefore this kind of sites are needed.