Kansas Cosmosphere Site Index
Kansas Cosmosphere Gallery


Sign to the right of the stained glass window. It reads

Ad Astra per Aspera.

Persevering through challenges. Finding inspiration during the darkest moments and determination from despair. Moving from tragedy to triumph.

Ad Astra per Aspera. To the Stars Through Difficulties.

The Latin phrase, adopted by Kansas as the state motto in 1861, echoes no truer than in space exploration. The human journey to the stars has been very difficult.

Men. Women. Husbands. Wives. Fathers. Mothers. Sons. Daughters. Teachers. Friends.


Brave explorers accepted the risk to lead our country to new heights, to pull human beings beyond the known and into the frontier of space. We soared with them, on rockets of fire, eyes fixed heavenward, with their dreams big enough for us all. We hurt when they didn't come home.

The astronauts of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia lost their lives in pursuit of exploration. Their dreams ending far too soon - and ours, grounded in the dark days that followed.

American determination and the power of the human spirit, however, reminds us that the most fitting tribute, the lasting memorial to those who sacrifice all, is to pick up their torch and carry on, fulfill the unfulfilled, and complete their journey. We must continue to reach for the stars, no matter how difficult.

Ad Astra per Aspera.

Time picture taken Tue Jul 29 11:24:38 2008
Location picture taken Across from Cafeteria
Kansas Cosmosphere
Hutchinson, KS
Prev Kansas Cosmosphere Gallery Next