Ad astra (phrase)

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Ad astra is a Latin phrase meaning "to the stars". The phrase has origins with Virgil, who wrote sic itur ad astra ("thus one journeys to the stars", from Aeneid book IX, line 641, spoken by Apollo to Aeneas's young son Iulus) and opta ardua pennis astra sequi ("desire to pursue the high (or hard to reach) stars on wings" book XII, lines 892–893, spoken by Aeneas to his foe Turnus in their combat). Another origin is Seneca the Younger, who wrote non est ad astra mollis e terris via ("there is no easy way from the earth to the stars", Hercules Furens, line 437, spoken by Megara, Hercules' wife). Astra: | Edit. Astra means star. Greek meaning: "star" Norse meaning: "divine strength" Latin meaning: "From astralis meaning of the stars, derived from the Greek astron meaning star"


It is used as, or as part of, the motto of many organizations, most prominently, many air forces. It has also been adopted as a proper name for various unrelated things (publications, bands, games, etc.). It also sees general use as a popular Latin tag.

Ad astra[edit]

Ad astra per alas fideles[edit]

"To the stars on the wings of the faithful ones"

Ad astra per alas porci[edit]

"To the stars on the wings of a pig"

Ad astra per aspera[edit]

"To the stars through difficulties" or commonly translated "a rough road leads to the stars"; also translated as "Through hardships, to the stars".

Non lucror, exposita scientia, ad astra[edit]

"Not for profit, for discovering knowledge, approach the heavens"

Per ardua ad astra[edit]

"Through struggle (or adversity) to the stars" or sometimes even "a rough road leads to the stars"

Per aspera ad astra[edit]

"Through hardships to the stars", "A rough road leads to the stars" or "To the stars through difficulties". Used by various organizations and groups.

Per audacia ad astra[edit]

"Through boldness to the stars"

Per herbam ad astra[edit]

"From grass to the stars"

Quam celerrime ad astra[edit]

"speedily to the stars"

Sic itur ad astra[edit]

"Thus one goes to the stars"

"Such is the pathway to the stars"

"A path to the stars"

"Reach for the stars"

Other uses[edit]

  • A related phrase, ex astris ("from the stars"), is used frequently in NASA publications and in science fiction—see Ex astris, scientia.
  • There was a 1984 computer game called Ad Astra[3] which was an outer space shoot-em-up with a 3-D perspective.
  • It is also a title of a William Faulkner short story—see Collected Stories of William Faulkner (New York: Vintage International).
  • Ad Astra is the title of a board game set in space published in 2009 and designed by Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget.
  • The Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, KS, brews a beer called "Ad Astra Ale" after the Kansas motto "Ad Astra per Aspera".
  • Ad Astra is a public artwork by American artist Richard Lippold. Lippold's sculpture is located outside on the Jefferson Drive entrance of and in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum.
  • It is also written on the "Volume Three" page in "Gravity Falls: Journal 3".
  • Ad Astra is the motto of the fictional Pruitt Prep school in "The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel"
  • Ad Astra is the name of an exclusive school run out of the SpaceX building in Hawthorne, CA.
  • De Profundis Ad Astra ("From the depths to the stars") is the motto of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society[4].
  • Ad Astra is the title of an upcoming 2019 science fiction film starring Brad Pitt.


  1. ^ Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1929). Armorial Families: a Directory of Gentleman of Coat-Armour. Hurst & Blackett. p. 58. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Pigasus". Steinbeck Center.
  3. ^ Ad Astra at the World of Spectrum
  4. ^ LASFS Coat of Arms

External links[edit]