SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — One local middle school student was awarded an out-of-this-world experience.

Roman Newson was one of 15 students from across the country to receive the “You’ve Got Perseverance!” award from NASA. This means he was able to meet with members of the Mars Perseverance rover and hear a special message from the rover on Mars.

Going to space is Roman Newson’s dream.

This week, he had the chance to speak with those working in mission control for NASA’s Perseverance Rover.

“The experience is awesome. When you look up to people and you get to talk to them, it’s an amazing experience for sure,” said Newson.

Students had to be nominated by teachers who had share stories on how the student demonstrates perseverance.

“He is probably one of the most curious students I’ve ever had, and he works hard. He’s not only interested in what we are doing at school, but he has his own personal interests that he just dives right into at home and he wants to be so knowledgeable about multiple topics…he just really makes an impact on anyone who meets him,” said Kari Nichols, 8th grade social studies teacher at Whittier Middle School.

Throughout the hour-long virtual meeting, Newson was able to ask question and learn more about life in mission control.

“It was more enriching and I feel like I got a better understanding of my questions, but at the same time a million more questions filled my head,” said Newson.

“For someone like Roman, he has all these ideas of things that he wants to do and seeing adults doing it and being able to talk about it I just think is going to propel him into whatever career he wants to do,” said Nichols.

He was left with the message, all the way from Mars: “Keep your curiosity and perseverance, Roman: They may take you to the stars!”

“It’s a privilege to get to talk to them and just ask questions you know and get to see what’s going on behind the scenes,” said Newson.

This fall, the applications will open for the next round of award winners.