Falcon 1e

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Falcon 1e
Falcon 1 Rocket Family.jpg
Comparison of Falcon 1 and Falcon 1e
FunctionSmall-lift launch system
Country of originUnited States
Cost per launchUS$10.9M (2010)
Height27.4 metres (90 ft)
Diameter1.7 metres (5 ft 7 in)
Mass46,760 kilograms (103,090 lb)
Payload to 185 km LEO1,010 kilograms (2,230 lb)
Associated rockets
Launch history
StatusCancelled during development
Launch sitesOmelek Island
Total launches0
Notable payloadsOG2
First stage
Engines1 Merlin 1C (upgraded)[1]
Thrust560 kN (125,000 lbf)
Specific impulse304 sec
Burn time169 seconds
Second stage
Engines1 Kestrel 2[2]
Thrust27.8 kN (6,200 lbf)
Specific impulse325 sec
Burn time418 seconds

The Falcon 1e was a proposed upgrade of the SpaceX Falcon 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 Its first launch was planned for mid-2011,[3] but the Falcon 1 and Falcon 1e were withdrawn from the market, with SpaceX citing "limited demand," before its debut.[4][5] Payloads that would have flown on the Falcon 1 were instead to be flown on the Falcon 9 using excess capacity.[6]


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 upgraded[1] pump-fed[2] Merlin 1C engine burning 39,000 kg (87,000 lb) of RP-1 and liquid oxygen. The first stage burn time was around 169 seconds.[2] The second stage had a dry mass of 540 kg (1,200 lb) and its pressure-fed[2] Kestrel 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.[7]

The Falcon 1e planned to use Aluminum Lithium alloy 2195 in the second stage, a change from the 2014 Aluminum used in the Falcon 1 second stages.[2]


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".[7] Following a demonstration flight, the Falcon 1e was intended to make a series of launches carrying Orbcomm O2G spacecraft, with a total of eighteen satellites being launched, several per rocket.[8] EADS Astrium had been responsible for marketing the Falcon 1e in Europe.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Falcon 1 User's Guide" (PDF). SpaceX.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-22. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bjelde, Brian; Max Vozoff; Gwynne Shotwell (August 2007). "The Falcon 1 Launch Vehicle: Demonstration Flights, Status, Manifest, and Upgrade Path". 21st Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites (SSC07 ‐ III ‐ 6). Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  3. ^ a b de Selding, Peter B (13 September 2010). "Astrium to Market SpaceX Falcon 1 Launches in Europe". SpaceNews.com. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Virgin Galactic relaunches its smallsat launch business". NewSpace Journal. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2012-07-11. The Falcon 1e was to provide approximately 1,000 kilograms for $11 million, but the company withdrew the vehicle from the market, citing limited demand.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ O'Neill, Ian (2011-09-30). "The Falcon is Dead, Long Live the Falcon?". Discovery News. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Falcon 1 Launch Vehicle Payload User's Guide" (PDF). Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  8. ^ Ferster, Warren (3 September 2009). "SpaceX Lands Orbcomm 18 Satellite Launch Deal". SpaceNews.com. Retrieved 14 September 2010.