Where did the baby name Astria come from?

Space Sentinels
The Space Sentinels Mercury, Astria, Hercules

In 1978, the names Astria, Astrea and Astreia all debuted on the SSA’s baby name list, and Astra saw its highest-ever usage:


**One-hit wonder.

What caused this sudden interest in the name Astria?

A Saturday morning cartoon called The Space Sentinels (originally titled The Young Sentinels). It premiered in September of 1977, and the main characters were a trio of teenage superheroes that represented three different racial groups:

  • Mercury (Asian) “the amazing athlete who can match the speed of light”
  • Astria (African-American) “able to assume any living form”
  • Hercules (white) “empowered with the strength of a hundred men”
Astria of Space Sentinels
Astria of Space Sentinels

Astria was one of the few African-American superheroes on television around this time. (The Super Friends character Black Vulcan was another.)

Like Hercules and Mercury, Astria’s name was taken from a figure in ancient mythology: the Greek goddess Astraea.

Though I’m writing her name “Astria” here, I have to admit that I don’t know which spelling was used in the cartoon. Every source I checked seemed to use a different variant (Astrea at Wikipedia, Astraea at IMDb, etc.) and none of the episodes I watched on YouTube showed her name on-screen.

Speaking of episodes, not very many exist: only 13 aired before The Space Sentinels was cancelled. Was the mixed-race cartoon too ahead of its time to survive? Hm.

So which of those three debut spellings do you like best — Astria, Astrea or Astreia?

Source: Terrace, Vincent. Television Introductions: Narrated TV Program Openings since 1949. Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press, 2014.

One thought on “Where did the baby name Astria come from?

  1. My name is Astreia and I was born in 1979. Honestly, Astreia is the best spelling for this name.

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