Now that Hibito is clear to return to space as and when a mission demands it, our focus can return to Mutta as he begins his training as part of a backup crew for the first time.
As Mutta makes his way to begin this training alongside the rest of the crew and staff that make up the backup team he quickly runs into a familiar (and rather lofty) face, that being Andy from his NEEMO training. As they're introduced to the group's instructor, geologist George McGuire, as he picks out the astronauts from those assembled, it quickly becomes clear that they're a rather unique bunch, from the energetic through to the aggressive via the haughtily self-confident.
Given that this backup crew (plus one other) will mostly likely make up a full crew that actually heads into space on a future mission, Mutta is left wondering how on Earth he'd manage to get on with them given their various attitudes - a thought process interrupted only by an opportunity to try on a full spacesuit for the first time. It seems that Mutta isn't the only one with misgivings either, as Butler also concerns himself with how this crew of relative loners might cope. It seems that the answer to all of this revolves around picking the right person to lead that team, and Butler seems to have just the man in mind...
Although I'm really not too convinced by the new characters introduced as astronauts in this week's Space Brothers, at least it's something of a relief to learnt that this is a deliberate strategy on the part of the show's narrative - I really hope it can do something good with this ragtag collection of irritating (and mildly racist, in one instance) characters, and if any series can do it, Space Brothers can. At this juncture, I can only keep my faith in a show that has rarely put a foot wrong, but it's certainly given itself some challenging circumstances to work with so hopefully this isn't the moment that "breaks" its incredible entertainment value.