The Falcon 1e was a proposed upgrade of the SpaceXFalcon 1. The Falcon 1e would have featured a larger first stage with a higher thrust engine, an upgraded second stage engine, a larger payload fairing, and was intended to be partially reusable. Its first launch was planned for mid-2011, but the Falcon 1 and Falcon 1e were withdrawn from the market, with SpaceX citing "limited demand," before its debut. Payloads that would have flown on the Falcon 1 were instead to be flown on the Falcon 9 using excess capacity.
The Falcon 1e was to be 6.1 m (20 ft) longer than the Falcon 1, with an overall length of 27.4 m (90 ft), but with the same 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) diameter. Its first stage had a dry mass of 2,580 kg (5,680 lb), and was powered by an upgradedpump-fedMerlin 1C engine burning 39,000 kg (87,000 lb) of RP-1 and liquid oxygen. The first stage burn time was around 169 seconds. The second stage had a dry mass of 540 kg (1,200 lb) and its pressure-fedKestrel 2 engine burned 4,000 kg (8,900 lb) of propellant. The restartable Kestrel 2 could burn for up to a total of 418 seconds.
Falcon 1e launches were intended to occur from Omelek Island, part of Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and from Cape Canaveral, however SpaceX had announced that they would consider other locations as long as there is a "business case for establishing the requested launch site". Following a demonstration flight, the Falcon 1e was intended make a series of launches carrying Orbcomm O2G spacecraft, with a total of eighteen satellites being launched, several per rocket. EADS Astrium had been responsible for marketing the Falcon 1e in Europe.
^Foust, Jeff (22 August 2011). "New opportunities for smallsat launches". The Space Review. Retrieved 22 March 2014. We had the Falcon 1 offered for a lengthy period of time and could not securely manifest a sustainable amount to keep the product line going. ... We have promised to reevaluate that at the end of this year, and if we decide the market is viable, we will come back in and reintroduce the Falcon 1e.