Elon Musk wants to fly you anywhere in the world in less than an hour

Elon Musk predicts rockets will one day be able to fly people from New York to Shanghai in just 39 minutes.

Musk’s company, SpaceX, is developing a huge spacecraft to colonize Mars. It could also be used much closer to home.

Speaking at a space conference in Australia on Friday, Musk said the company had looked into applying the technology to whizzing people to different places on Earth in insanely fast times.

“The results are quite interesting,” he said as a video showed a simulation of people boarding a rocket in New York that blasted off into space and then came back down to land in Shanghai.

“The great thing about going to space is there’s no friction, so once you’re out of the atmosphere … it’ll be smooth as silk, there’s no weather,” Musk said.

Most journeys between points on this planet will take less than 30 minutes, he predicted, and none should take longer than an hour.

In an Instagram post after the presentation, Musk said the cost per seat “should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft.”

Musk teased the idea at the end of a presentation about SpaceX’s plans to land cargo ships on Mars in 2022. Spaceships carrying people should follow by 2024.

The company is developing a giant reusable rocketship for those missions — called BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket. Inside the company, it’s nicknamed the “Big F–king Rocket.” It plans to start building the first one by the middle of next year.

That’s the same rocket that Musk says could be used to zoom people from city to city on Earth, traveling as fast as 27,000 kilometers per hour (17,000 mph).

Unlike the Mars missions, Musk didn’t offer any indication of when these super-fast journeys could become a reality.

He’s not the only billionaire aiming to speed up travel.

Richard Branson has said he wants to perfect a “rocket plane” to transport people between cities on Earth via space. Branson, who’s pursuing his space ambitions through Virgin Galactic, has forecast that the trip from New York to Sydney could one day take 30 minutes.

Musk also has plans to build an underground “hyperloop” network that can shuttle commuters between New York and Washington, which are about 230 miles apart, in 29 minutes.

— Sherisse Pham contributed to this report.

Michael Jordan wins his Chinese name back

— HONG KONG — Michael Jordan just gained some serious ground in his battle with a Chinese sportswear company over the use of his name in the world’s most populous country.

The basketball great has been locked in a legal fight with Qiaodan Sports for years. “Qiaodan” is the Chinese rendering of the name Jordan, and the sportswear firm’s main logo bears a striking resemblance to the iconic Air Jordan image used on Nike products.

China’s top court ruled on Thursday that the Chinese company must stop using the two Chinese characters for “Qiaodan.”

Big Western brands like Apple and Pfizer have struggled to defend some of their product names in China. And Qiaodan Sports, which has more than 6,000 stores across the country, had won a series of victories against Jordan in lower courts.

Jordan said that he was happy with Thursday’s ruling.

“Today’s decision ensures that my Chinese fans and all Chinese consumers know that Qiaodan Sports and its products have no connection to me,” he said in a statement.

But the former NBA star, listed by Forbes as the highest paid athlete of all time, didn’t get everything he wanted. The Supreme People’s Court threw out some of Jordan’s other requests, including a demand that the sportswear firm stop using “Qiaodan” in the Roman alphabet, which it does on some products.

Qiaodan Sports said that it would respect the court’s ruling. But the company added that the decision doesn’t affect the trademarks it currently uses, suggesting its main Jordan-esque logo isn’t going away anytime soon.

The company hasn’t been very subtle in the way it’s exploited Jordan’s image.

The former Chicago Bulls player has accused it of building its business through the unauthorized use of his Chinese name and renowned jersey number, 23. He says it even tried to trademark the names of his sons, Jeffrey and Marcus, in Chinese.

And the legal saga isn’t over yet. A Shanghai court has still to issue a ruling in a separate lawsuit over the use of his name.

— Serenitie Wang and Steve George contributed to this report.

Study of more than 95,000 kids finds no link between MMR vaccine and autism

— The vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella doesn’t bring an increased risk of autism, according to a new study of more than 95,000 children.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the latest piece of research to debunk the myth associating the MMR vaccine with autism.

Using a claims database from a large commercial health plan, the researchers paid particular attention to children who had older siblings with autism, or ASD, which puts them at a higher genetic risk of developing autism.

“We found that there was no harmful association between the receipt of the MMR vaccine and the development of an autism spectrum disorder,” said Anjali Jain, a pediatrician at the Lewin Group, a health care consulting firm in Virginia, who worked on the study.

‘No evidence’ of link

The team of researchers examined the records of 95,727 children in an 11-year window. They studied the risk of developing autism in children who received the MMR vaccine compared to those who didn’t.

For children with older siblings diagnosed with autism, the study’s authors said they “found no evidence that receipt of either 1 or 2 doses of MMR vaccination was associated with an increased risk of ASD.”

The work was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

‘Beliefs continue to persist’

As dozens of measles cases began popping up in the United States in recent months, unfounded fears about a link between vaccines and autism resurfaced.

“Although there is a lot of research suggesting that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum disorder, those beliefs continue to persist,” said Jain.

The study found that children who had an older sibling with autism were less likely to be vaccinated.

“Their vaccination rates were about 10% less than for kids with unaffected siblings,” Jain said.

The recurrent myth about a link between vaccines and autism, propagated by a small but vocal group of anti-vaccine activists, grew out of a now discredited study from 1998 that was published in a British medical journal by a doctor who was later stripped of his license.

“We’re not sure as a scientific community what causes autism, but vaccines do not,” CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta said last month.