Hercules Aerospace has won a multimillion-dollar NASA contract to conduct a technological study of ways to improve the space shuttle rocket booster's nozzle, the company said.

Hercules officials said the contract will be administered by NASA's Research and Technology office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. The study period is for two years but allows for three 1-year options.Hercules will manage the contract through its Bacchus Works in southwestern Salt Lake County, the company said in a news release.

The new contract is part of the national space agency's Solid Propulsion Integrity Program.

Under the agreement, Hercules will direct 18 team members and subcontractors from companies including Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. of Palo Alto, Calif., and Boeing Aerospace of Seattle.

"Hercules has organized an industry-wide team of corporations, engineers and scientists whose collective knowledge and experience will be applied to assure meeting the NASA objective of increased solid fuel rocket reliability," said Program Manager Richard Herman.

Herman is a former member of the Hercules solid rocket motor program in Utah.