Pupils from Helston Community College had a special visitor beamed into class recently to talk to them about space.

Canadian astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield joined the lucky students for a 45 minute Skype interview session from his home country.

Selected students from years seven to 11 had the chance to ask him one question each, with topics ranging from "What is it like to sleep in space?" (apparently "immensely comfortable") to "Do you think it will be possible to inhabit Mars one day?" (yes).

The event was organised by science teacher Dr James Allen, who was lucky enough to meet Chris Hadfield during the filming of the TV programme Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes, in which Dr Allen finished in the top four.

Dr Allen said: “I met Chris Hadfield during filming of the TV show and thought it would be a great idea to try and get him involved in a Q&A with students from school. I emailed some of his people and they managed to arrange it for us; it was an incredible experience for the students.”

One of the students who asked question during the interview was Toby Allen, who was interested to find out what it was like to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

He was surprised to find out that Chris "could see flames coming off of the shuttle" outside his window.

After speaking to Chris, who started out as a pilot before becoming an astronaut, Toby said: “The interview was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It has really inspired me to become a pilot when I leave school."

The second half of the class session included a presentation from Kat Hickey, who works at Goonhilly Space Station and talked about the growing range of opportunities that students have in the space sector in the county. "Enterprise advisors" like Kat work closely with schools in Cornwall and aim to help bridge the gap of knowledge between employment and education.

Kat said: “It was an incredibly aspiring talk from Chris and has been a great opportunity to highlight to Helston School students the opportunities that they could have in the future with some of the large and small organisations that work in the space sector in Cornwall.”