Hercules Aerospace and Atlantic Research are completing their final proposal for construction of the second-generation solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle program.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration last week issued the final call for proposals for the project. The agency wants to build its own facility and contract with a private company to operate it. The total project cost is about $1 billion.Morton Thiokol Inc. currently has a contract with NASA to provide boosters through the early 1990s, and decided not to seek the advanced solid rocket booster contract.

Martin Marietta, Michaud and Bechtel have joined the Hercules Atlantic team to provide a complete one-stop shopping bid to build, design and develop the ASRMs, which will replace the current booster design once Thiokol's contract expires.