The Japanese space probe Hayabusa 2 successfully sent a capsule containing samples from the asteroid Ryugu to Earth on Saturday at 220,000 kilometers from Earth.

That reports the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Launched in December 2014, the probe collected material from Ryugu some 300 million kilometers from Earth.

The capsule is expected to land in a desert area in South Australia in the early evening.

The Hayabusa 2, meanwhile, continues its next asteroid mission.

The asteroid Ryugu is 900 meters in diameter and weighs about 450 million tons.

Researchers hope that by analyzing the Ryugu samples, they will learn more about the origin of our solar system, about 4.6 billion years ago.

The capsule landing can be followed here.

A photo of asteroid Ryugu, taken by the Japanese probe Hayabusa 2. Photo: ISAS / JAXA