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This is a beautiful short supercut of the history of SpaceX’s effort to develop a recoverable first stage. Hat tip Rand Simberg.
The video notes that it took less four years, from the first flight of Grasshopper to the first successful landing by a Falcon 9 first stage. This is the kind of pace I remember as a child in the America I grew up in. New ideas were fast and continuous, and things moved. I pray we are heading for a new renaissance where things will move again.