Clavius Base, as seen from the cockpit of the Aries Ib lunar shuttle.
|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.
The base, located at Clavius crater, is featured in both the 1968 novel and 1968 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.
Following his meeting with officials at Clavius, Floyd departed for the crater Tycho on the Moonbus.
- There is a Clavius Base as well as a Pico Base on the Moon in Erich Dolezal's Mond in Flammen, published in 1954.
- Although not a reuse of the Clavius model, Moonbase Alpha from the TV series Space: 1999 is designed using the same concept as Clavius, resulting in remarkable similarity. It is located in another crater, Plato.
- In Larry Niven's 1999 novel 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, also mentions a Clavius Base on the Moon in his 2012 Doctor Who novel The Wheel of Ice.
- The BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Clarke's 1974 novel Rendezvous with Rama has the ship Endeavour landing at Clavius Base following the end of its mission to Rama.
- Clavius Base was the initial name of Tom Hanks's film production company. The 1996 film That Thing You Do! and 1998 television miniseries From the Earth to the Moon were the only projects from his company under that name; it became Playtone (named after the record label in the former) in 2000.
- Clavius is referenced in the song "Four Out of Five" by the Arctic Monkeys on their 2018 album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.