25 Years Serving the Small Payload Community

Multi-manifest Design Specification (MMDS) Development Project


The initial effort was completed in May of 2022. The Multi-Manifest Design Specification (MMDS) is posted as MMDS Ver 1.0a along with a group of related documents in the Reference Library.


            SPRSA will be leading the development of a small payload Multi-manifest Design Specification (MMDS) in support of the USSF SMC/ECL Mission Manifest Office (MMO). This development will be based on the views and inputs from industry, academia, and government.  This is an opportunity for industry and academia to express their views in a neutral, non-judgemental forum and produce a specification that will best suit their design needs while satisfying the safety and flexibility concerns of launch service providers, multi manifesting offices, and aggregators. 

            The widest possible community involvement is sought to ensure that all issues and options are considered in drafting a viable and useful document. While the intent is to develop a document that reflects the views of the small space industry, government perspectives will be considered on an equal footing with industry perspectives. Government requirements, such as range safety and licensing will be incorporated as part of the baseline standards.

            The focus of this document will be on satellite vehicles in the range typically flown on Rideshare or multi-manifest missions that are larger than CubeSats.  The specification will generally encompass satellite vehicles between 50 kg and 600 kg covering those in Express Class thru ESPA and ESPA Grande class among others.  

            While the emphasis will be on interfacing with traditional Rideshare accommodations, such as ESPA rings and similar structures, consideration will be made to create the broadest criteria possible for applicability to small expendable launch systems to support the ability to remanifest small satellite vehicles between multi manifested options and dedicated small launch services.

            The ultimate objective of this effort is to create an open-source document that clearly defines the small satellite vehicle design criteria that will allow efficient integration on multi-manifested missions, including the ability to be readily moved between different launch opportunities and different launch vehicles.  Compliance will streamline acceptance into a multi-manifest process without further analysis or investigation and reduce the time required for integration.   In addition, compliance will simplify the replacement of one compliant satellite vehicle with another without further analyses and unique documentation, thereby making interchangeability possible late in the launch integration process.

            The initial development effort will be primarily conducted through video meetings to allow maximum participation, followed by a peer review phase, including review and comment sessions, to provide for the broadest community participation.  Ultimately, the MMDS, will be posted on the SPRSA web site for open review and use. The final document will then be included as part of the process by which a universally accepted government/industry specification would be created. 

            Registration will be required to ensure the full spectrum of community participation.  While there is no intent to limit the number of participants from a given organization, the determination of the specific language in the final document will reflect a balance of the views of large and small stakeholders and participants.  

            Plans are to conclude this effort by the end of May 2022.  We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and participate by adding your voice to the discussions that will result in a useful document.

            Please consider participating either as a participant in the development of the MMDS or as a peer reviewer of the drafts as the document is developed. You can indicate your interest in participation by registering for the MMDS Project in the side bar.