A SPACE technology firm near Didcot has joined a programme to develop satellite equipment faster.

Oxford Space Systems, based at the 'Harwell Space Cluster', has teamed up with the University of Surrey.

The UK-wide SPRINT programme connects small businesses with space experts at universities to help get new ideas to market quicker.

Oxford Space Systems will be using the scheme to bring forward its new generation of antennas which can be used to operate delicate equipment on satellites in outer space.

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CEO Michael Lawton said: "As small but rapidly growing team, it’s not possible to have all the skills, experience and facilities needed to undertake our commercially focused work internally.

"The SPRINT programme provides essential support to enable us to engage with the world-class expertise of the University of Surrey and thus ensure our satellite antennas and structures can take a lead position on the global stage.”

The new, £5 million SPRINT programme is supported by Research England.

It is being delivered by a consortium of five of the UK’s leading space universities, led by the University of Leicester and including the University of Edinburgh, Open University, University of Southampton and University of Surrey.