When Perseverance arrives on Mars early next year, it will be the first landfall for a rover carrying 3D-printed metal parts and a small victory for proponents of the technique in the high-cost, high-risk world of the U.S. aerospace program.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, nestled in the foothills of La Cañada Flintridge, has seen a slow cultural shift over the last decade toward the adoption of 3D printing techniques, more formally known as "additive manufacturing," in spacecraft design. The technology uses lasers to melt metal powder that is layered to precise computer modeling, until that metal takes the shape of whatever engineers need.

For years, 3D printing has been relegated to the realm of nerdy hobbyists, but its adoption by startups and big business has helped push NASA leaders toward accepting more innovation despite the risks. These days, 3D printing has been used on airplane engines, houses, hearing aids, chocolates, Tesla car components and even a pair of Adidas shoes.

"I have seen a 3D printed burrito, and it didn't look as delicious as Chipotle," said Scott Roberts, a JPL materials technologist, with a laugh.

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Titan School Solutions, an Irvine, Calif.-based company that provides cloud-based software to manage school nutrition at more than 700 districts nationwide, has been acquired by LINQ for $75 million.

TITAN was founded in 2015 to bring efficiency to the school lunch line by IT professional Brad Blankenship. Today it's used by more than 4 million students across the U.S. and the company has grown from about 10 to more than 80 employees over the last three years.

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  • The passage of California's Prop 24 will hit the data-broker industry hard and create a new state regulatory agency.
  • The new law adds stringent legal requirements to how businesses collect and share consumer data.
  • The new law is similar to Europe's GDPR law, which could give California businesses a leg up in dealing with European citizen's data.

The implications of California's new consumer data privacy law will ripple through the Golden State and potentially the nation, striking a large blow to the estimated $200-billion data broker industry and heralding a new industry that tracks down shared data and enforces its deletion, experts say.

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