11/12/2014 10:54 EST | Updated 01/12/2015 05:59 EST

Rosetta Mission Includes Toronto-Area Engineer

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
DARMSTADT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 12: The image shows the surface of the comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on November 12, 2014 from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel. The lander is separated from Rosetta earlier on November 12 and headed towards the surface of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko 67P which is moving at the speed of more than 80,000 miles (128,747 kilometers) per hour. The probe is named after the Rosetta stone, a stele of Egyptian origin and the lander is named after Philae, an island in Lake Nasser, Egypt. (Photo by European Space Agency/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Toronto-area man was among the hundreds of scientists celebrating Wednesday when, for the first time, a man-made probe touched down on a comet. 

Jakub Ermanek of Burlington, Ont., had a front-row seat when the Philae lander touched down on comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko — he was one of hundreds of team members watching from a control room in Germany.

"It was terribly exciting," Ermanek told CBC News via Skype. "I've been on this project for two years and it was amazingly exciting for me … there were tears in the control room."

Ermanek is an operations engineer, part of the team at the European Space Agency that sends operating instructions to the Rosetta spacecraft, which in turn sends instructions to Philae. 

"There are so many things about this mission that have never been done before, so getting to be here on the front line is just amazing," he added. 


PICS: Space Is Incredible