Hibito continues his astronaut training, while Mutta works with Ozzy cutting grass. The job turns out to be pretty fun. Hibito feels a little regret about going to the moon, because he was chosen over another Japanese astronaut that he admired, Azuma Taiko.
Who reads manuals?
As Hibito is up polishing his bicycle, Mutta tries to sleep in, but is woken up by Apo, who acts as Hibito's alarm clock. Apo proceeds to lick Mutta's face, as Mutta tries to get back to sleep. After having breakfast together, Hibito bikes to the Lydon B. Johnson Space Center to continue training, and Mutta heads off to help Ozzy with his job cutting grass. Mutta is a little envious of the astronaut training that Hibito gets to do. At the space center, Hibito and his fellow astronauts are briefed on their future mission to the moon. The astronauts are given a thick manual to read, that will operate a rover that will cover the residential modules on the moon in lunar dust, this will act as a protective layer. Hibito flips through the manual, and instead of reading it all, he says they should start right away with the simulator, saying it's faster just to do it.
Hibito drives the rover, which displaces lunar dust
Meanwhile Mutta and Ozzy are driving to their first job of the day. It turns out they will be mowing the lawn in front of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Ozzy says he has 4 years of experience. As Mutta skims through the driver's manual for the lawn mower, Mutta closes the book saying it's faster just to do it. Surprisingly, driving the mower turns out to be quite fun. Also the rover that Hibito is driving is also much like a lawn mower, but instead of cutting and displacing grass, the rover displaces lunar dust. His fellow astronauts comment how Hibito is a fast learner, and that now the choice for Hibito to join them on the mission is obvious, even though initially the obvious choice was Azuma Takio, another, older, more experienced Japanese astronaut.
Azuma seems to hold a grudge against Hibito
As Mutta has lunch at the space center with Jennifer, he is introduced to Hibito's backup, Lowry Cuomo. Lowry seems rather interested in Japanese culture. Jennifer tells Mutta that Hibito is confident that Mutta will be an astronaut, saying that they will avenge the Jay brothers (referring to how the Jay brothers were both astronauts, but were not able to go to the moon together because one of them died in an accident during a mission). However, Jennifer warns Mutta that he still has to go through the last exam. Also this is made more difficult for Mutta because, Azuma Taiko, who still holds a grudge against Hibito for seemingly taking his spot on the upcoming mission to the moon, is on the judges panel for the final exam. Apparently Hibito and Azuma had been on good terms, and played catch together, but after Hibito was assigned to the mission, they had not played together since.
Points of Interest
- Regolith is the technical term for lunar dust, the fine grain soil found on the moon.