Yes, it's true, this is the end for Space Brothers... at least, it is for now, but with a prequel movie on the way surely this story is one that we'll revisit further again in the future?
Anyhow, Mutta's concerns for his missing brother have escalated to the point where his primary concern should probably now be his own future, after a major lapse of judgment caused a critical issue during a training session that a simply "Oops, sorry" won't really fix, in turn causing Mutta to get both barrels from Vincent. Decidedly fed up, Mutta finds himself invited out for a bite to eat by Nitta, who updates him on the latest news with his own younger brother, who it just so happens is suffering from a similar turn of poor fortune to bring a run of good luck and success to an end. In short, Kazuya also finds himself at the short end of an employment decision based upon his history rather than his present, much to Nitta's chagrin.
It just so happens that after this meal, Mutta finally does receive contact from Hibito, who shocks his brother by stating that after a lot of thinking and wandering America alone he's decided to quit NASA. This isn't the end of his space adventure however, as he still has plans elsewhere... Russia, to be precise. Freed from this worry, Mutta can concentrate on his own career once more, building the bridges he requires with Bold and ensuring that, six months later, he's successfully on-hand as CAPCOM for the next shuttle launch.
Short of both brothers standing on the Moon together apropos of nothing, no ending to Space Brothers was really going to be satisfying, and this final episode did feel like it had to rush a fair few things (what are Vincent Bold's family like? How did Mutta win them over?) to get to a relatively clean place to close things out. The door is clearly open for more, and I really hope that we get it - Space Brothers is a unique and fascinating series (beyond the simple fact that it isn't filled with high school kids!) that has not only grabbed my attention week on week for nigh-on two years, but it's also rekindled my interest in space and space exploration, which is no mean feat. It hasn't always hit the mark, but across its ninety-nine episodes its succeeded in its storytelling far, far more often than it failed, and that's no mean feat.
In short, life won't be complete until we get to see Mutta on the surface of the moon, but for now I'm happy to look back upon the fond memories of what this series did bring us, and all of the joy, tension and emotion that came with it.