Returning home early from his rehabilitation in Russia at NASA's behest, it seems as if Hibito's career is at a low ebb at just the moment that Mutta's own ambitions are about to receive a major boost.
With the first prototype of the new lunar buggy he helped to design now ready to roll, Mutta gets the call that he really wasn't expecting at this point in time - the call to join a team of a dozen people to being training for a lunar mission. Saying some quick goodbyes, there's no need to express Mutta's sense of excitement, as he prepares for several weeks of undersea NEEMO training (insert your own Finding NEEMO joke here) to give the prospective astronauts some time in conditions somewhat closer to those of space.
Alongside Mutta for this training are both Kenji, who is trying to juggle these responsibilities with his growing daughter and another child on the way, and Nitta, bringing both himself and us some familiar faces for this particular leg of his journey. Meanwhile, Hibito finds himself with a room and desk of his own at NASA, but is he going to be able to continue his rehabilitation alone? Ivan back in Russia clearly wants to ensure that he does, and he might just have found the person he needs to help him along in his efforts.
Having been sidetracked in some shape or form for a little while now, I'm excited to see Space Brothers getting back into the thick of Mutta's progress as he moves a step closer to the moon - these segments of the show have frequently been amongst the most satisfying, and I have no reason to believe that this story arc should be any different. Who knows, maybe they can figure out some kind of Nagi no Asukara tie-in while Mutta and company spend a few weeks under the sea...