A lot can happen in a single year, especially in this era of accelerating technological and social change. Here are the most futuristic developments of 2013.
1. Humanity officially became an interstellar species: It took Voyager I 36 years to do it, but the little spacecraft-that-could officially pierced through the heliosphere back in July. The probe is now 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. "Voyager has boldly gone where no probe has gone before, marking one of the most significant technological achievements in the annals of the history of science, and adding a new chapter in human scientific dreams and endeavors," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science in Washington. "Perhaps some future deep space explorers will catch up with Voyager, our first interstellar envoy, and reflect on how this intrepid spacecraft helped enable their journey."
2. Radical life extension went mainstream: Back in September, Google announced Calico, a company that will focus on health and well-being. But its ultimate purpose is to radically extend the human lifespan. As TIME put it, "That would be crazy — if it weren't Google." By launching Calico, Google CEO Larry Page hopes to tackle some of health care's most pressing problems. And by virtue of doing so, the company hopes to be a major player — if not the major player — in the burgeoning efforts to slow down, or even halt, the aging process in humans.