Some Ottawa high school students had a unique out-of-this-world experience when they were on one end of a very long distance call.

On the other end of the line was Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who's been inspiring young people to get into the sciences by talking with them from the International Space Station and engaging Canadians on Twitter.

The Canadian astronaut has been aboard the space station since December.

The students at John McCrae Secondary School in Barrhaven, a community in south Ottawa, made the connection with the help of a program called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS.

Hadfield is the first Canadian to conduct chats using the program and students had an opportunity to ask him about life in space with questions ranging from what his plans for the future are, to what other celestial bodies look like from space.

"I never thought I'd get a chance to do this, and I loved it," said Krystyna Olszewski, a Grade 9 student at the school.

It was a brief chat, but a special opportunity for the teens to learn about life in space.

"I'm pretty interested in it. I might go to Carleton University and study that stuff," said Cameron Pinder, another student at the school.

Next, the ARISS program will visit students in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.