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Clavius Base, as seen from the cockpit of the Aries Ib lunar shuttle.
|Built by||United States Astronautical Engineering Corps|
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
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.
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.
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 Claviusbase.com