Clavius Base

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Clavius Base
Clavius, Moon
Clavius Base, as seen from the cockpit of the Aries Ib lunar shuttle.
Type Moon base
Site history
Built 1994
Built by United States Astronautical Engineering Corps

Clavius Base is a fictional lunar settlement in the Space Odyssey literary universe created by Arthur C. Clarke.

Clavius Base[edit]

The base, located at Clavius crater, is featured in both the novel and film versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey. According to the novel, the base was finished in 1994 by United States Astronautical Engineering Corps. If necessary, the base can be self-sustaining.

As depicted on screen, Clavius Base features some surface features (a landing pad and control tower, together with other ancillary support structures), but the vast majority of the base is located beneath the Lunar surface to protect it from micro-meteoroid impacts and solar radiation. Incoming spacecraft set down on a landing platform beneath a dome which opens as the vessel descends. The landing platform is part of an enormous elevator, which lowers the spacecraft into a cavernous docking bay, illuminated in red.

Clavius Base is, apparently, the central focus of American activities on the Moon, and is under the control of the United States Astronautics Agency.

Events at Clavius Base[edit]

Clavius Base was placed under a quarantine with the cover story of an epidemic when the Tycho Magnetic Anomaly TMA-1 artifact was excavated. Dr. Heywood R. Floyd traveled to the base to investigate the monolith about 18 months prior to the departure of the spacecraft Discovery on her mission to Jupiter (in the novel, Saturn).

While present at the base, Dr. Floyd met with American lunar officials and notified them that the government was requiring individual security oaths to be taken from each individual on the base.

Following his meeting with officials at Clavius, Floyd departed for the crater Tycho on the Moonbus.

Other uses[edit]

Although not a reuse of the Clavius model, Moonbase Alpha from the TV series Space: 1999 is designed using the same concept as Clavius. It is located in another crater, Plato.

In Larry Niven's Rainbow Mars, mention is made of a city in Clavius Crater, apparently a reference to Clavius Base from 2001. Stephen Baxter, a collaborator of Clarke's, also mentions a Clavius Base on the moon in his Doctor Who novel The Wheel of Ice.

The BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama has the ship Endeavour landing at Clavius Base following the end of its mission to Rama.

There is a Clavius Base as well as a Pico Base on the Moon in Erich Dolezal's Mond in Flammen, published in 1954.

Clavius Base was also the initial name of Tom Hanks's film production company. That Thing You Do! (1996) and From the Earth to the Moon (1998) were the only projects from his company under that name; it became Playtone (named after the record label in the former) in 2000.

Clavius Base is also the name of Creative and Art Director James H. Dargie's website