Per aspera ad astra

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"Per aspera ad astra", from Finland in the Nineteenth Century, 1894

Per aspera ad astra (or, less commonly, ad astra per aspera) is a popular Latin phrase meaning "through hardships to the stars". The phrase is one of the many Latin sayings that use the expression ad astra, meaning "to the stars".


Various organizations and groups use this expression and its variants.

Governmental entities[edit]

Military and government[edit]


  • In Hermann Hesse's Beneath the Wheel, the headmaster of Maulbronn says this to Lucius for his futile efforts towards music.[citation needed]
  • In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, title of a play depicting the history of the fictional Maycomb County in which Mrs. Merriweather says that it means "from the mud to the stars" (chapter 28, page 257, Warner Books, 1982).
  • In James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the dean of studies of Trinity College, Dublin, uses this phrase with Stephen Dedalus when discussing whether or not Stephen will eventually show enough artistic talent to provide the college an answer to the "esthetic question".[citation needed]
  • In Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan, it is the motto of the Martian Imperial Commandos (chapter 7, page 120, Orion Publishing Group, 2004).[citation needed]
  • In Alan Moore's Watchmen, it is the motto of the Gila Flats Test Facility.[citation needed]
  • In Steven Gould's Exo, Cent says this to Cory, who responds with "maxime asperum".[citation needed]
  • In Alex Hirsch's Gravity Falls Journal no. 3. Written on one of the first pages of the 2016 book as an addition to the television series Gravity Falls.
  • In Pierce Brown's Golden Son and all throughout its sequel Morning Star.
  • In Kenta Shinohara's Astra Lost in Space, it is inscribed on a plaque on the bridge of the ship that the crew subsequently decided to name the Astra.[9]
  • In M. L. Rios' If We Were Villains, it is the school motto for Dellecher Classical Conservetory, which is where most of the story occurs.
  • In A. J. Finn's The Woman in the Window: A Novel, "Ad astra per aspera" (which she translates to "Through adversity to the stars") is the inscription on Anna Fox's father's memorial bench (chapter 14, page 69).


  • The subtitle of Moritz Moszkowski's set of fifteen Études de Virtuosité for piano, op. 72 (published 1903).
  • The subtitle of Charles Villiers Stanford's Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 158 (1918).
  • The title of the fourth album by ambient music duo Stars of the Lid (1998).
  • The subtitle of Sergei Bortkiewicz's 3rd piano concerto (1927).
  • The title of the fourth release by Stars Of The Lid (1998).
  • The title of a song by Spiritual Beggars from their album "Ad Astra" (2000).
  • The title of a song by Haggard (band) from their album "Eppur Si Muove" (2004).
  • Acceptance has an instrumental track on their Phantoms album titled "Ad Astra Per Aspera" (2005).
  • The title of the second album by Abandon Kansas (2011).
  • Per Aspera Ad Aspera, the name of a best-of album by the band ASP (2014).
  • The title of a march by Ernst Urbach op. 4 (1906).
  • The title of an album of marches by the Royal Norwegian Air Force Band.
  • The title of a track from the Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Super Music Collection.
  • The title of a composition by Hasaan Ibn Ali from his second Atlantic recording, never released, the master tapes of which were destroyed in the Atlantic warehouse fire of 1978. "Reaching for the Stars" was provided in the BMI database as an "aka" (also known as) title.[10]

Educational and research institutions[edit]







  • Escuela Nacional de Música, Tegucigalpa
  • Instituto Salesiano San Miguel, Tegucigalpa


  • Clarence High School, Bangalore, Karnataka, India - Motto of Redwood House (Ad Astra)
  • St.Augustine's High School, kalimpong, District:Darjeeling, India
  • Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), New Delhi, India
  • The Frank Anthony Public School,Kolkata,India
  • The Frank Anthony Public School, Delhi, India - Motto of Ranger House
  • St Joseph's High School, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
  • Antonio D'souza High School, Mumbai, India


  • Immaculate Conception High School, St. Andrew
  • Mount Alvernia High School, Montego Bay


  • St. Francis Church, Tokyo, West-Hachioji, Gnosis Essene (HP)

Macau SAR, China[edit]


New Zealand[edit]






  • Far Eastern University - Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, Quezon City
  • St. John Paul II College of Davao, Davao City
  • Rosevale School, Cagayan de Oro City
  • Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School, Gapan City
  • Cagayan State University, Tuguegarao City


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[edit]



South Africa[edit]

Sri Lanka[edit]


United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

Popular culture[edit]


  • A plaque honoring the astronauts of Apollo 1 at the launch site where they perished.
  • A tribute exhibit to the Apollo 1 Astronauts "Ad Astra Per Aspera - A Rough Road Leads to the Stars" opened on January 27, 2017, the 50th anniversary of the loss of the crew, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
  • Inscribed on the crest of Pall Mall cigarettes packages[36]
  • The theme of "POR CC XXI" by Kolese Kanisius Jakarta
  • Tradewinds Swiss[37]
  • Space Development Network[38]
  • Part three of the book Jepp who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh has the phrase as its title.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Decorations of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin". Archived from the original on 2008-08-29.
  2. ^ "The Great Seal of Kansas". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  3. ^ "Nederlandsch-Indische Gemeentewapens" (PDF). NV Mij Vorkink. September 1933. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  4. ^ Department of Civil Aviation Emblems Archived April 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Academia Tehnica Militara". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The South African Air Force Emblems". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  8. ^ "OSGG/BSGG @RideauHall Twitter". Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  9. ^ Kenta Shinohara (w, a). Astra Lost in Space 2: 24/4 (2016-08-23), Viz Media
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Albury High School". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  12. ^ "Keila-Joa Boarding School". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  13. ^ "Jakob Westholm Secondary School". Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  14. ^ "Colegiul Național Mihai Eminescu". Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  15. ^ "Colegiul Naţional "Andrei Şaguna", Braşov". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  16. ^ "Colegiul Naţional "Doamna Stanca", Braşov". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  17. ^ "Colegiul Naţional Alexandru Papiu Ilarian". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  18. ^ "Colegiul Național Andrei Mureșanu". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  19. ^ "Liceul Teoretic Ovidius". Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  20. ^ "Military Technical Academy Bucharest". Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  21. ^ "Pietersburg Hoerskool". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  22. ^ South African Air Force
  23. ^ "California State University East Bay". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  24. ^ Campbell University: General Information Archived July 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Greenhill School: Statement of Philosophy Archived 2009-01-06 at
  26. ^ "Stevens Institute of Technology: About Stevens". Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  27. ^ "Trinity Prep School: myTPS Portal". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  28. ^ "Beta Sigma Psi 2006 National Convention, see page header". 2009-12-27. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  29. ^ "Sigma Gamma Phi at SUNY Oneonta". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  30. ^ Almgau, 2014 (7 May 2011). "Startseite - ALMGAU". K.ö.St.V. Almgau Salzburg im MKV.
  31. ^ "transcript from the September 17, 2011 episode of A Prairie Home Companion".
  32. ^ Rev. Andy Ferguson. "Church Street United Methodist Church: February 20, 2001".
  33. ^ "Ghost B.C. Store". Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  34. ^ "A Nameless Ghoul From Ghost B.C. Speaks About ‘Infestissumam,’ the Devil + More". Loudwire. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
  35. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "Pall Mall". History of Cigarette Brands. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  37. ^ "Test Tradewinds Swiss".
  38. ^
  39. ^ Jepp who Defied the Stars, p. 225, at Google Books