The spacecraft, which began its two-year journey home on Monday, holds between 200 grams and 400 grams of asteroid chunks — the biggest cosmic haul for the US since the Apollo moon rocks.
Hayabusa2 spacecraft released a small capsule that has landed in a remote, sparsely populated area of Woomera, Australia, Japan's space agency says.
The spacecraft on desolate asteroid Ryugu, some 300 million km from Earth, is on a mission of collecting samples in hopes of finding clues to the origin of the solar system.
The unmanned Hayabusa2 spacecraft will spend about two months looking for suitable landing places on the uneven surface.
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