SpaceX announced the Falcon 9 today, a 9-engine fully reusable medium-to-heavy lift launch vehicle, with capacity from 25,000 to 55,000 lbs. The price quoted is $78 million per launch with a 17 foot fairing in the heavy configuration, or about $1,400 per pound. The price includes range fees and third-party insurance, which is a different setup than announced for the Falcon I, which was $5.9 million plus unspecified range and third-party insurance costs.
The timeframe for maiden launch is not mentioned in the press release, but it is given as the second quarter of 2007 on the SpaceX web site. The maiden launch has already been sold to a US government customer. The announcement of the Falcon IX is surprising, but the first sale is not, considering that the price for the Falcon IX is about 1/3rd of its closest American competition. This launcher has a host of other potential customers. Bigelow Aerospace has already moved its first flight to the Falcon IX from the Falcon V. It is expected to launch in 2008.
Good luck to SpaceX, as the maiden flight for the Falcon I is scheduled for late September or early October from the Marshall Islands.