The ISS is the third brightest object in the night sky, and can be easily viewed with the naked eye. Image Credit: Unsplash/Nasa

Turn your eyes to the sky at dawn or dusk and you may be able to catch a glimpse of a bright, fast-moving object streaking across. It’s no star or comet, and it’s completely manmade. Say hello to the International Space Station (ISS).

Click start to play today’s Crossword where the ISS features in one of the clues.

The ISS is the third brightest object in the night sky, and can be easily viewed with the naked eye. Here are a few other facts about this amazing observatory/spacecraft that will amaze you:

1. Man’s greatest achievement

Often described as the best thing to have been made by humans, the ISS is a peacemaking, cross-cultural collaborative project – one of the most successful ones ever. It’s not just a spacecraft, but a laboratory and an observatory, that can host up to 10 people at a time, and floats 386km above the Earth’s surface. It was built in 1998 and has been operated by 15 countries, including the US, Russia and Japan.

2. It’s enormous and faster than a speeding bullet

The space station orbits our planet 16 times a day, travelling at 28,000km/h – that’s 10 times faster than a bullet fired on Earth. And although it’s merely a bright spot when viewed from the ground, the ISS is the biggest object ever made, according to the Google Arts and Culture website, and is as large as a football field. It weighs a massive 460 tonnes, but serenely floats in space as it makes its way around the Earth.

3. Body-changing experience

Astronauts who stay on the ISS know beforehand that they are about to experience a number of changes. One of the smallest changes that can occur is that any calluses on astronauts’ feet will eventually fall of in space, leaving them soft, like a newborn baby’s feet! Other changes can be incredibly harmful – because of the lack of gravity, muscles and bones undergo deterioration, so astronauts ensure they exercise every day to stay in shape.

4. Time slows down in space

Even when astronauts have been away for a long period of time at the ISS, they return having aged less than they would have on Earth. The reason, according to US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), is relative velocity time dilation. This basically means that that the high-speed travel of the ISS causes time to slow down for them relative to the rest of us on Earth. It’s not a large difference – after six months on the ISS, astronauts are only 0.005 seconds younger than the rest of us – but it’s still a difference!

5. Everyday activities become difficult on the ISS

How do you live in space, with no gravity? Eating a meal and going to the toilet become slightly more difficult tasks for astronauts. The ISS has two space toilets, and astronauts strap themselves in to use it. Their urine undergoes filtration and is turned into drinking water! As for food, since loose crumbs and liquids can be extremely dangerous on the ISS, drinks come in plastic bags with straws. Any food that’s eaten is done so on trays that are held down by magnets.

Do you think you could live on the International Space Station? Play today’s Crossword and tell us at