Ad astra is a Latin phrase meaning "to the stars". The phrase has origins with Virgil, who wrote in his Aeneid: "sic itur ad astra" ('thus one journeys to the stars') and "opta ardua pennis astra sequi" ('desire to pursue the high[/hard to reach] stars on wings'). Another origin is Seneca the Younger, who wrote in Hercules: "non est ad astra mollis e terris via" ('there is no easy way from the earth to the stars').
Ad is a Latin preposition expressing direction toward in space or time (e.g. ad nauseam, ad infinitum, ad hoc, ad libidem, ad valorem, ad hominem). It is also used as a prefix in Latin word formation.
Ad astra is used as, or as part of, the motto of many organizations, most prominently, air forces. It has also been adopted as a proper name for various unrelated things (publications, bands, video games, etc.). It likewise sees general use as a popular Latin tag.
- Ad Astra Rocket Company, Webster, Texas, United States
- Motto of Astor family
- Innova Junior College, Singapore
- Presbyterian Ladies' College, Armidale, Australia
- United States Air Force Academy Class of 2007
- United States Coast Guard Academy Class of 1992
- USS Taurus (PHM-3)
- University College Dublin, member institution of the National University of Ireland
- Downe House School, AGN house motto
Ad astra per alas porci
"To the stars on the wings of a pig"
- Motto on John Steinbeck's personal stamp, featuring a figure of the Pigasus. Steinbeck's motto had an error in the Latin and used 'alia' instead of 'alas'.
- Title of Chris Thile's Mandolin Concerto.
Ad astra per aspera
"To the stars through difficulties;" "a rough road leads to the stars;" or "Through hardships, to the stars."
- Aeronautica Militare Italiana (eng.: The Italian Air Force), is the air force of the Italian Republic. The Italian Air Force was founded as an independent service arm on 28 March 1923 by King Victor Emmanuel III as the Regia Aeronautica ("Royal Air Force"). Italy was among the earliest adopters of military aviation. Its air arm dates back to 1884, when the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) was authorised to acquire its own air component.
- Albury High School in Albury, New South Wales, Australia
- Apollo 1 memorial placed at Launch Complex 34
- Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina
- Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England
- Immaculate Conception High School in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica, West Indies
- The State of Kansas (U.S. state motto)
- Morristown-Beard School in Morristown, New Jersey
- Mount Saint Michael Academy in The Bronx, New York City
- Starfleet, the fictional organization in the Star Trek universe
- Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida
- University of Klagenfurt
- Woodville High School, South Australia
- Murroe AFC
De profundis ad astra
"From the depths to the stars."
- Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. The official motto of the world's oldest continually operating science fiction fan social club, founded in 1934.
Per ardua ad astra
"Through adversity to the stars" or "Through struggle to the stars."
- Royal Air Force
- Royal Australian Air Force
- Royal Canadian Air Force (prior to 1968)
- Royal Flying Corps
- Royal Indian Air Force (1932 - 1950)
- Royal New Zealand Air Force
- Air Operations Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces
- University of Birmingham
Per aspera ad astra
"Through hardships to the stars" or "To the stars through difficulties."
- Coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
- South African Air Force
- Stevens Institute of Technology
- Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
- Municipality of Cheribon, Netherlands East Indies
- City of Gouda, The Netherlands
- Instituto Nacional Mejía
- Included within the Sounds of Earth audio portion of the contents of the Voyager Golden Record is a track containing the inspirational message per aspera ad astra in Morse code.
Per audacia ad astra
"Through boldness to the stars."
Quam celerrime ad astra
"speedily to the stars."
Sic itur ad astra
"Thus one goes to the stars."
- The Philomathean Society, Philadelphia, PA, USA
- The Canongate, Edinburgh
- Admiral Collingwood Lodge, Australia
- Richmond, Virginia (city)
- Argentine Air Force, Materiel Command, Argentina
- The Geelong College, Australia
- Canadian Air Force (1920–24)
- Colombian Aerospace Force
- 48 Air School in Woodbridge East London, one of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan facilities in South Africa. Other units had Ad Unum Ad Astra and Per Artem Ad Astra.
- Llandysul Grammar School, Llandysul, Ceredigion, Wales
"Such is the pathway to the stars."
- Royal Canadian Air Force
- Brazilian Air Force Academy, in Pirassununga - São Paulo, Brazil. The Brazilian Air Force Academy uses the variation "Macte animo! Generose puer, ic itur ad astra!" which means: "Be brave! Young ones, this is the pathway to the stars."
"Reach for the stars."
- The Hertfordshire and Essex High School, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
- Falcon College, Zimbabwe
": Macte animo generose puer! Sic itur ad astra
Hinc itur ad astra
"From here the way leads to the stars"
- Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.
- A derived phrase, ex astris ('from the stars'), is used frequently in NASA publications and in science fiction—see Ex astris, scientia.
- Ad Astra is a 1976 public artwork by American artist Richard Lippold. Lippold's sculpture is located outside the Jefferson Drive entrance, and in the collection, of the National Air and Space Museum.
- A 1984 computer game, Ad Astra is an outer space shoot-em-up with a 3-D perspective.
- "Ad Astra" is the title of a William Faulkner short story, found in Collected Stories of William Faulkner (New York: Vintage International).
- Ad Astra is the title of a 2019 science fiction film starring Brad Pitt.
- The phrase Sic itur ad astra was also used in the Netflix's Singaporean anime-influenced television series Trese.
- The phrase Ad astra abyssosque was used as the motto for the Adventurer's Guild in the video game Genshin Impact.
- "Ad Astra" is the title of a song by Finnish composer Antti Martikainen from the album "Novum" released November 30, 2022.
- The phrase "Ad Astra" is a key phrase in Nightwish's song Shoemaker and the name of track 8 on disc two from their album Human. :II: Nature.
- The phrase "Per Aspera, Ad Astra" is used as a motto by Golds, recalling the Earth eras pre-conquering, in the popular Red Rising science fiction saga.
- Virgil, Aeneid IX 641. Spoken by Apollo to Aeneas's young son Iulus.
- Virgil, Aenied XII 892–93. Spoken by Aeneas to his foe, Turnus, in their combat.
- Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens 437. Spoken by Megara, Hercules' wife.
- Harper, Douglas. "ad". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- Harper, Douglas. "astra". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1929). Armorial Families: a Directory of Gentleman of Coat-Armour. Hurst & Blackett. p. 58. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "Class Facts | US Air Force Academy AOG & Endowment". www2.usafa.org.
- "Pigasus". Steinbeck Center.
- "sluggo on the street". sluggo on the street.
- "Seal of Kansas". Kansapedia. Kansas Historical Society. March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 July 2020. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
- "lasfsinc.info - The LASFS Coat of Arms". www.lasfsinc.info.
- "Decorations of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin". Archived from the original on 29 August 2008.
- "Nederlandsch-Indische Gemeentewapens" (PDF). NV Mij Vorkink. September 1933. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
- "Gouda in the official Dutch heraldic records". High Council of the Nobility (Hoge Raad van Adel), The Hague. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
- "Philomathean Society homepage". Philomathean Society.
- "Ad Astra". World of Spectrum. Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
- History of the RAF motto (but note that this page misspells sic itur)