On its second or third landing, the spacecraft will shoot a cylindrical metal projectile called a "small carry-on impactor" 265 millimeters in diameter into the asteroid's surface to make an artificial crater and attempt to collect samples.
Asteroids are believed to have formed at the dawn of the solar system and scientists say Ryugu may contain organic matter that may have contributed to life on Earth.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) associate professor Yuichi Tsuda holds a banner reading "success" in front of an image of the Hayabusa 2 space probe's landing on the Ryugu asteroid, 340 million kilometers from Earth, at JAXA's facility in Sagamihara, south of Tokyo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 22, 2019.
The Hayabusa-2 probe will try to grab some of the 1km-wide asteroid, Ryugu.
Hayabusa2 will eventually fire an "impactor" to blast out material from underneath Ryugu's surface, allowing the collection of "fresh" materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation. In addition to making sure that the spacecraft would still be able to collect its surface samples, mission scientists were also able to reassess its landing site.
The 600-kg Hayabusa2, which was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan in December 2014, has experienced no problems up until now, throughout its journey totaling 3.2 billion km.
The Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft has completed one of its most exciting challenges yet: On Thursday evening, it touched down on the asteroid Ryugu, fired a tantalum bullet into the rocky surface, and ascended back into orbit around the tiny world, according to updates from the mission's English-language Twitter account.
Earlier in September previous year, JAXA successfully landed two miniature rovers on the surface of Asteroid Ryugu.