Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Objects in space

- The six tonne US Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite was due to fall to Earth, with Nasa calculating that it has a one in 3,200 risk of striking a human. It poses less of a risk, however, than the 75 tonne Skylab did when it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere in 1979. In the event, it fell on an uninhabited region of Western Australia.

- There is plenty more potential danger from space junk, with an estimated 19,000 pieces of man-made material greater than 100mm across orbiting the Earth, including a glove and a camera dropped by astronauts. Most will burn up in space when they re-enter, but one which could cause problems is Vanguard 1, a satellite launched in 1958 which is expected to fall to Earth in 240 years' time.

Major losers

Kweku Adoboli, a trader with Swiss bank UBS, racked up $2.3 billion of losses. At least six traders have lost more money than him in recent years. These are some of them, and other notable losers:

- Howie Hubler, Morgan Stanley on credit default swaps, 2008 $9bn

- Jerome Kerviel, Societe Generale on index futures, 2008 $7.2bn

- Yasuo Hamanaka, Sumitomo Corp on copper futures, 1996 $2. …

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