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Today, a SpaceX rocket launching can be 97% cheaper than a Russian Soyuz ride cost in the ’60s

What is earliest year such reusable rockets could have been constructed given technology availability or cost of technology?

I would think the biggest factor is CPUs to run the control algorithms for the landing.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know the answer, but here are some waypoints: The McDonnell Douglas DC-X "Delta Clipper" demonstrated autonomous propulsive vertical landing in 1994. The Buran demonstrated autonomous landing after an orbital reentry in 1988. The first autonomous landing of an airplane was demonstrated in 1945. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2022 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ I see a very broad question open to a lot of interpretation. Could you specify whether you mean powered landing boosters that autonomously adjust their course to land at a very specific spot? Or whether you simply mean boosters or stages that can simply deploy parachutes to drop into the ocean, or any reusable spacecraft at all? $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2022 at 18:01

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