US billionaire Elon Musk has said on Monday that his company SpaceX plans to fly two private citizens on a mission around the moon by late 2018 as part of a lunar journey that would last about a week and travel deeper into space than any human has ventured before.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk would not name the two individuals, who he said approached the company and would pay for the flight.
“The passengers are very serious about the trip and have already paid a significant deposit,” The Verge reported citing Musk as saying.
The plan is to do the trip in the second quarter of 2018 on the Crew Dragon spacecraft with the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is due to do its maiden launch this summer.
The trip around the Moon would take approximately one week: it would skim the surface of the Moon, go further out into deep space, and loop back to Earth — approximately 300,000 to 400,000 miles.
The two people going on the trip, who weren’t named, already know each other. They will begin initial training for the trip later this year.
Musk, however, declined to comment on the exact cost of the trip, but said it was “comparable” or a little more than the cost of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. On the Russian Soyuz rocket one ticket costs NASA around $80 million.
Musk is famous for laying out ambitious timelines and goals—he ultimately plans to colonize Mars, for example— that often get pushed back. SpaceX has never flown people before, and has had two of its rockets blow up in the last two years.Follow @gorkhapost
Android apps may be illegally tracking children, study finds
Over 3300 free and popular children’s Android apps available on the Google Play Store could be violating child privacy laws, according to a new, large-scale study, highlighting growing criticism of Silicon Valley’s data collection efforts.
Researchers using an automated testing process have discovered that 3,337 family and child oriented Android apps on Google Play were improperly collecting kids’ data, potentially putting them in violation of the US’ Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA law (which limits data collection for kids under 13).
Only a small number were particularly glaring violations, but many apps exhibited behavior that could easily be seen as questionable.
Researchers analyzed nearly 6,000 apps for children and found that 3,337 of them may be in violation of the COPPA, according to the study report. The tested apps collected the personal data of children under age 13 without their parent’s permission, the study found.
“This is a market failure,” said Serge Egelman, a co-author of the study and the director of usable security and privacy research at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.
“The rampant potential violations that we have uncovered points out basic enforcement work that needs to be done.”
The researchers are adamant that they’re not showing ‘definitive legal liability.’ These apps may be running afoul of the law, but it’s up to regulators at the FTC to decide if they are. Without iOS data, it’s also unclear how common this problem is across platforms.
The potential violations were abundant and came in several forms, according to the study. More than 1,000 children’s apps collected identifying information from kids using tracking software whose terms explicitly forbid their use for children’s apps, the study found.
The researchers also said that nearly half the apps fail to always use standard security measures to transmit sensitive data over the Web, suggesting a breach of reasonable data security measures mandated by COPPA. Each of the 5,855 apps under review was installed more than 750,000 times, on average, according to the study.
Unfortunately for parents, there’s little consumers can do to protect themselves since the policies and business practices of app developers and ad tracking companies are often opaque, Egelman said.
The study also points to a breakdown of so-called self-regulation by app developers who claim to abide by child privacy laws, as well as by Google, which runs the Android platform, he said.