2013: New year in space exploration history
"Spaceship" Earth has completed another revolution around the sun, and has set off on another 365 day, 583 million mile (940 million kilometer) journey across time and space.
Over the past year, humankind's efforts to push further out into the solar system have resulted in launching the first commercial spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station, landing a car-size rover on Mars, docking the first Chinese manned spacecraft and sending 18 people to live and work off the planet.
In 2012, two probes completed the most detailed map of the moon's gravity and North Korea (controversially) joined the nations that have lofted a satellite into space.
Over the next 12 months, more commercial spacecraft will visit the station, new probes will be launched to the moon and Mars, and if all goes as planned, the first spacecraft created to fly paying tourists on suborbital spaceflights will leave the Earth's atmosphere for the first time.
As these and other firsts enter history, they will join a half century of international space milestones. Looking ahead into the year, 2013 will mark several key anniversaries for the events of the previous five decades of human activity outside the Earth...