The first landing in February 2019 saw the probe collect a surface sample from the asteroid.
A small capsule bearing pristine pieces of the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu touched down early this afternoon (Dec. 5) within the remote and rugged Woomera Prohibited Area, about 310 miles (500 kilometers) northwest of the South Australian capital of Adelaide.
A few hours later, JAXA confirmed the samples had been recovered, with help from beacons emitted by the capsule as it plummeted to Earth after separating from Hayabusa-2 on Saturday, while the fridge-sized probe was some 220,000 kilometers (137,000 miles) away.
The capsule will be packed in a container as soon as its preliminary treatment at an Australian lab is finished and brought back to Japan this week, Satoru Nakazawa, a project sub-manager, said during an online news conference from Woomera.
Speaking at a press conference, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda said, "The capsule was in ideal condition".
Asteroid Ryugu is about a kilometer in diameter and is thought to contain water and organic matter, similar to the Earth's birth about 4.6 billion years ago.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft recently made a successful touch-and-go grab of surface samples from asteroid Bennu.
Connolly hopes to go to Japan next summer to take part in analyzing the Ryugu samples.
Hayabusa 2's predecessor, the original Hayabusa probe, sampled a different sort of asteroid named Itokawa back in 2005.
The spacecraft, launched in 2014 from Japan's Tanegashima space centre, journeyed for four years to the asteroid Ryugu, where it gathered a sample and headed home in November last year. They are particularly interested in organic materials in the samples to find out how they are distributed in the solar system and related to life on Earth.
Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" is a successor of "Hayabusa" (MUSES-C), which revealed several new technologies and returned to Earth in June 2010.
If its mission was successful, the capsule will contain two samples from the Ryugu asteroid, including the world's first subsurface asteroid sample.
Studying water trapped in minerals from Ryugu could give hints if the water in Earth's oceans came from asteroids, and if carbon-based molecules could have seeded the building blocks for life.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 mission dropped off its sample collection capsule before moving on to the next part of its extended mission: visiting more asteroids.
Half of Hayabusa-2's samples will be shared between JAXA, US space agency NASA and other worldwide organizations, and the rest kept for future study as advances are made in analytic technology.
Professor Fujimoto said that Earth was formed close to the sun so it was formed dry, the original formation of Earth did not have water at all so something had evolved to bring water to the planet and make it habitable.
Ryugu in Japanese means "Dragon Palace", the name of a sea-bottom castle in a Japanese folk tale.