A former commander of NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) revealed exactly what would happen to humans if they venture out into space without a spacesuit. According to the astronaut, going out into space unprotected will lead to a very painful and horrifying death.

Chris Hadfield is a retired astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency. He joined astronauts from NASA aboard the ISS in 2012 for Expedition 34. He then became commander of the station for Expedition 35.

In a video released by Wired on Youtube, Hadfield clarified a few myths related to space. One of the misconceptions he tackled was about how humans will immediately burn up in space if they get sucked out of a spacecraft or a station’s airlock.

For Hadfield, this concept can be considered a myth because in reality, a person will go through a much worse experience if he or she suddenly ends up in space without a proper spacesuit.  

“Here’s this common perception that you will immediately fry to a crisp by the unfiltered unadulterated solar radiation if you get sucked out of the airlock,” the astronaut said in the video. “In truth, it’s way worse than that.”

“In the shade in space, it’s minus 250 degrees but the part of you that’s in the Sun, it’s plus 250 degrees at least,” Hadfield explained. “So it’s going to start boiling and burning so it’s like lying on a red-hot stove with a piece of dry ice on your back and your lungs are going to be sucked flat instantaneously.”

According to the astronaut, aside from not being able to breathe, the extreme conditions in space will cause a person to freeze while boiling the blood inside the body.  

“Even worse than that is your blood is going to boil like opening a can of pop where suddenly that all the little bubbles come out because there’s no air pressure around you,” he said. “So simultaneously you are going to freeze, boil, burn, get the bends and no longer be able to breathe. Not a good way to go.”

As a former crew member and commander of the ISS, Hadfield has experienced carrying out spacewalks outside the station. During those events, he noted that he was very thankful he had a spacesuit on.

“I’ve done two spacewalks and I was very thankful to have a spacesuit around my body so that none of those happened to me,” he said.