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The base, named after German astronomer Christopher Clavius, 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.
The spacecraft sets down on a landing platform beneath a dome which opens as the spacecraft descends. The landing platform proves to be the platform of an enormous elevator, which lowers the spacecraft into a cavernous docking bay, illuminated in red. Most of the base has been built underground to protect it from micro-meteoroid impacts and solar radiation.
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 outbreak of some form of infection when the Tycho Magnetic Anomaly TMA-1 artifact (later known as The Monolith) was excavated. Dr. Heywood R. Floyd traveled to the base to investigate the monolith eighteen 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 Rainbow Mars, mention is made of a city in Clavius Crater, apparently a reference to Clavius Base from 2001.
There is a Clavius Base as well as a Pico Base on the Moon in Erich Dolezal's Mond in flammen, published 1954.
Clavius Base is also the name of a film production company. To date, its productions are: