Falcon 1e, that is:
SpaceX plans to launch the second-generation satellites on multiple Falcon 1e launch vehicles, an enhanced version of SpaceX’s Falcon 1 launch vehicle. Most recently, Falcon 1 successfully delivered the RazakSAT satellite to orbit for ATSB of Malaysia. Designed from the ground up by SpaceX, the Falcon 1e has upgraded propulsion, structures and avionics systems in order to further improve reliability and mass-to-orbit capability.
There’s been an assumption that the Falcon 1 was kind of a learning experience, and that the focus would shift to Falcon 9, but it looks like they’re going to continue with both for quite a while. Also, I’ve been having an argument with someone over in comments at NASA Watch who thinks that SpaceX can’t survive without NASA. That’s always been nonsense, and remains so.
Of course, Falcon 1e has never flown. Considering what happened when they switched engines from Flight 3 to Flight 4, it would behoove them to not use one of Orbcomm’s birds for a guinea pig.
[Update a few minutes later]
If this page is right (it seems a little tentative, with the question mark — it’s probably a guess based on satellite weight and vehicle performance), they will go up three at a time, so that’s six flights.
[Update a while later]
Some commenters here think that it might be six birds per launch, so that would be only three additional flights to the manifest. Seems like a lot of eggs in each basket. I wonder what the cost of the satellites is versus launch cost? It would be an interesting sales job for SpaceX, because if they tried to get more launches by putting fewer satellites up per launch, they’d be implying that their vehicle wasn’t reliable…
But there really is a trade, if the satellites cost a lot more than the launch, and you have to have a good idea of vehicle reliability to perform it properly.
I should add that this is one of the key arguments for propellant as a payload. The vehicle reliability becomes almost irrelevant.