STRATHAM — Nicky Denton commanded his space shuttle to resupply the International Space Station, served as mission control’s flight director for a Mars mission and went on a spacewalk to make repairs to the station.

And that was just Day 2 of Space Camp for Denton.

Denton, 16, graduated from the Advanced Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center located in Huntsville, Alabama in June where he was able to experience astronaut training techniques. While at camp, trainees were engaged in real-world applications of STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics), he said.

“Our instructors wanted to reinforce that everything we did at camp; real astronauts have to go through many of the same training,” Denton, a Stratham resident, said. “It was basically a crash course in becoming an astronaut.”

Denton, entering his junior year at Exeter High School, said he first took an interest in aviation and space at a young age because of his father, Jeffrey Denton’s 26 years of service with the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Refueling Wing. The younger Denton said he had been begging his parents to go to Space Camp since he was 6 years old.

“I’m into anything space related or aviation related,” Denton said.

At Space Camp, Denton said he was part of a 16-member team, Acidalia, named after a region on Mars. He slept in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and trained on simulators like those used by NASA.

“It was kind of like the movie ‘The Martian’ without all the cooking stuff, just basically the bedrooms,” Denton said.

Denton said his team participated in three separate space flight simulations centered on a mission to Mars while running simultaneous missions out of the ISS. He served as the space shuttle’s pilot during the first mission, answering to the vessel’s commander and was responsible for the flight engineers going on spacewalks. He also went on a spacewalk, mock space suit and all, suspended from the ceiling in a harness designed to simulate the zero-gravity of outer space.

Denton’s most significant responsibility was serving as a flight commander, which had him role-playing directing all mission activity out of mission control.

Aside from the space flight simulations, Denton said his team built model rockets to solve engineering problems, which included carrying an egg 250 feet in the air and returning it to earth without breaking. They also built a heat shield capable of protecting the egg from burning.

His team also participated in a zero-gravity exercise in a scuba tank wearing weighted belts.

“The tank is in the middle of the museum they have there so when I dove down I was playing rock, paper, scissors with some of the visitors through some of the viewing windows,” Denton said. “I really want to go back. Honestly, the most fun I had was just making new friends who shared the same interest in space.”

Denton’s mother, Geri Denton said she was elated her son finally was able to experience Space Camp after asking to go every summer since his childhood.

“We found out about the camp when his father was in the military and how they offered scholarships for military children to go to Space Camp,” Geri Denton said. “He’s been asking to go every year since and I’m just so happy it finally worked out.”

Denton said he would like to pursue aerospace engineering as a possible career, perhaps even becoming an astronaut.

“If I can, I’d like to go to MIT, and if not, I’d go to UNH and get an engineering degree,” Denton said. “I’d also like to get my pilot’s license while I’m still in high school. That would be a good start.”