It's hard to believe that only 45 years have passed since the world was officially introduced to the crew of the Starship Enterprise (a.k.a. USS Enterprise, NCC-1701) in Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek TV series.
Terms like "phaser" and "red shirt," as well as phrases such as "Live long and prosper" or "Beam me up, Scotty!" (which was never said on the original Trek show) are now so commonly used in everyday vernacular that even those who consider themselves anti-Trekkies immediately recognize their significance.
Star Trek icons William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy each turned 80 this year... and yet, they can still send a sci-fi/comic book/all-things-nerdy convention into a frenzy just by showing up and waving at the crowds. Heck, Nimoy doesn't even have to physically appear in a movie to get people excited (see: his providing the vocals for Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon). Such is the sustaining power of the Star Trek phenomena.
To commemorate the occasion, we have a well-designed infograpic (courtesy of Space.com) that effectively encapsulates all the major events in Trek history. It also briefly touches on some of the more significant developments in the areas of both real-life space exploration and science-fiction cinems have occurred over the past five decades or so - for additional historic perspective.
Check it out below: