NASA plans to launch its massive Ares 1 rocket, the first test flight of its vehicle planned to replace the Shuttle in the next decade. Gareth Mitchell looks forward to this first step in NASA's Constellation programme for human space exploration.
Also, earlier this month, the cover of Science was graced with a collection of bones - the fossil of Ardi, possibly the most important human ancestor yet found. With its two key discoverers at the Royal Society, Gareth grabbed the chance to hear what it's like to uncover such a rare piece of pre-history.
And if you thought you'd already about the most important human ancestor this year, that was Ida, the much-celebrated 47 million-year-old lemur lookalike, which scientists now report in Nature had nothing to do with our origins after all.