Webster resident Joseph Serio worked as a gas station attendant in the 1990s, and had no ties to NASA or Mars Rovers.

Now he’s a Monroe Community College optics technology student with 20 years of experience manufacturing optics parts for NASA Mars Rovers with Ontario company Optimax. He’s headed to Texas next week to compete with a team of college students from around the country to build prototype rovers.

Optics is the study of light, and Optimax was commissioned to build lenses for the past three Mars Rovers, or “eyes,” — “any images you’ve seen sent back from Mars comes from what we’ve manufactured,” Serio said.

Serio decided that he wanted a career in the optics field after several years with Optimax. “The career opportunities are endless here … the best thing about it is that every day I keep learning more and more,” he said.

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