Cosmonaut's Tattoos Tradition / Ritual in Project Kentaurus | World Anvil
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Cosmonaut's Tattoos

In over 200 years of human spaceflight, cosmonauts have developed a distinct subculture. Much like travel on Earth's oceans in the old days, interplanetary spaceflight is a fertile breeding ground for this, due to crews being isolated in their vessels for prolonged periods, with limited communication to the outside world.   The analogy with sailors also holds for one of the most prominent aspects of cosmonaut culture, which is tattoos. Virtually every cosmonaut has at least some ink, and accumulates more over the course of their career. Some tattoos are simply ornamental, but there is a number of common symbols. The most popular of the two star systems are detailed in the following.  

Astronomical Symbols

Many celestial bodies of the Sol system have symbols traditionally associated with them. Cosmonauts may have these as tattoos as reminders of home or to commemorate the places they have visited. They are much less common in Alpha Centauri of course, where no such symbols do not exist for the planets. The exception to this are zodiac symbols. Since the first interstellar spacecraft such as the Taurus class were named after the zodiac signs, these symbols can be found among cosmonauts who have made the journey between systems.  

The Six Stars

The constellation Cassiopeia, with Sol as a sixth star, is the most common tattoo found in Alpha Centauri. Going back to the famous Sharov quote, it is a symbol of unity among the people of the system and of rememberance who lost their lives in the pursuit of a better life among the stars. It is often seen in the general population and with almost every cosmonaut

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Cover image: by nearlyoctagonal


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