Astrid is the most beautiful female name: the Nordic origin contributes both to the inherent beauty of the word and to the sense that it is distinct from the threadbare names that have been attached to so many people and, through that extensive use, have lost much of their allure. The name Astrid speaks to the ancient and to the divine. The etymology of the word shows the extent to which these associations with the beautiful and the spiritual are valid. Astrid is from ASTRITHR in Ancient Scandinavian: derived from the Old Norse elements áss "god" and fríðr "beautiful".
My experience with Astrids:
Notable Astrids, for me, include the protagonist of White Oleander, a novel by Janet Fitch. The novel was published by Little Brown & Company on May 6, 1999]. The ISBN Number is 0316569321 (hardcover). For me, at least, the attractiveness of that character, and the manner in which she is portrayed, has reinforced the allure of the name. Indeed, that was probably the first time I saw it until I actually met an Astrid in 2001: an event that ended up having a profound, if someone ambivalent, impact on my life. I brought many of my ideas about the name Astrid to my relationship with her, an action that contributed to the enormous degree to which I idealized her. The extent to which my personal identification with the name Astrid has biased my sense of the word’s beauty helps to show to what extent beauty itself is subjective. One interesting side note is how the particular Astrid who I know once played a character called Ingrid in a film. Ingrid is the name of Astrid's mother in White Oleander.
The ASTRID satellites: :
ASTRID is a small spin-stabilized satellite weighing 27 kg launched on January 24, 1995. It is Sweden’s third scientific satellite and first microsatellite. ASTRID carries an Energetic Neutral Atom analyzer, an Electron Spectrometer and two UV imagers for imaging the aurora. The platform was designed and developed by Swedish Space Corporation's Space Systems Division in Solna, Sweden, while the payload was developed by the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna.
The Astrid-2 microsatellite is a Swedish science project to observe and study the auroral regions of the Earth from about 1000 km height. Although the satellite is extremely small (its mass is only 30 kg) it carries a big payload. Astrid-2 contains instrumentation to measure electric fields, magnetic fields, ions and electrons, plasma density and its fluctuations, UV photometers to image the aurora from above, and a stellar compass to determine the platform attitude. This satellite has two mission objectives. On the one hand it is a sophisticated research satellite, on the other hand it is a technological pioneering mission where a number of new techniques are tested for the first time.
Astrid-2 has been launched successfully in December 1998 from Plesetsk in Russia. The satellite was constructed for a lifetime of about a year. Its operational phase started on January 11, 1999 and has come to an end on July 24, 1999 when contact with the spacecraft was lost. With data from over 3000 passages over the northern and southern auroral regions, the satellite mission can be regarded as a success.
Astrid-2 is the latest of several Swedish scientific satellite missions (e.g. Viking 1986, Freja 1992) which got a wide response in the international science community.
Particle Physicists like ‘Astrid’ too:
Astrid is also an acronym for Aarhus STorage RIng in Denmark. ASTRID is a dual-mode ring which can store electrons or ions of either polarity. The normal operational cycle of ASTRID consists of alternate ion storage and electron storage modes.
P.S. Apparently, Astrid is also a popular name in Belgium, mainly because of the popularity of the former Queen (wife of Leopld III, father of present king Albert, died 1935) and also a current royal princess.
Source: Albert Herring