The following entry was first published as Flight International's main leader in 18 December 2012.
NASA raised our Curiosity on Mars. Airbus planted its flag in Alabama. A Superjet was lost in Indonesia. Richard Branson shook hands with Richard Anderson. Two Chinese-built capsules docked together - in space. The world bid farewell to Moon walker Neil Armstrong.
That was the year 2012 in the aerospace industry.
For some, 12 months proved not nearly long enough. US politicians managed to pull off an election, but at the time of writing had failed to pass a budget for the fiscal year that began nearly three months ago. Bombardier set a countdown for the first flight of the CSeries, but the clock ran out. Sales of light business jets would surely recover by the fourth quarter; they didn't.
On the other hand, it was a good year for commercial airliners in production. After so many years of embarrassing delays moving the A380, A400M and 787 out of the development phase, Airbus and Boeing polished the stain off their reputations by skillfully executing production rate increases while continuing to pad historically large order backlogs.
But it was a bad year for some commercial airliners still on the drawing boards. Boeing knocked the 777X off the fast-track to authority to offer, while Airbus stumbled over building the wing for the first A350 XWB.
Certain types of deals were harder to make than ever. The US military neglected to add a new aircraft type to its inventory in 2012, a rare feat. Brazil, India, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates said they would, but were unable to buy new fighters. Germany was asked to approve a merger between EADS and BAE Systems, but blew it up instead.
Meanwhile, others were just trying to keep it together - like the international partnership crumbling around the Lockheed Martin F-35. Hawker Beechcraft didn't quite succeed, winding down its jet division
On balance, however, the industry that enters 2013 is the same as the industry that passed into 2012, with many of the biggest questions left unanswered. What is Boeing's 777 strategy? Which new narrowbody engine do airlines prefer? Can the F-35 survive a domestic spending crisis and a drop in international confidence? How will European industry consolidate?
Alas, the next 12 months offer little hope of clarity, but mark the diary: 2014 already looks set to be a year of reckoning in the aerospace industry, full of surprises bad and good.