How to Play the Space Exploration Boom and Whether You Should

Some of the best space exploration stocks investors should consider now have dividends or have exposure to NASA.

Ruchi Gupta - Author

Apr. 7 2021, Published 3:45 p.m. ET

SpaceX satellite
Source: Pexels

The space race is heating up and investors have a chance to profit from it with space exploration stocks. What's the outlook for space companies? What are the best space exploration stocks to buy now?

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Virgin Group boss Richard Branson are some of the billionaires heavily involved in space programs. You might think the first trillionaire will be a space investor.

spacex space exploration
Source: Getty
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List of space exploration stocks

Space companies come in a variety of shapes and forms. There are those that have focused on launch satellites for commercial and government customers. Then there are companies that build rockets or supply components used in making rockets. Some companies focus on offering space tourism, while others offer space services like satellite communications.

The list of space exploration stocks continues to grow thanks to SPACs helping space startups go public quickly. Below is a list of some of the major space stocks investors can consider now.

  • Lockheed Martin (LMT) 
  • Boeing (BA) 
  • Northrop Grumman (NOC)
  • Virgin Galactic (SPCE)
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Some of the best space exploration stocks to buy now

There's also a fast-growing list of space startups going public in SPAC deals. These include:

  • Astra and Holicity SPAC (HOL) 
  • Rocket Lab and Vector SPAC (VACQ)
  • Momentus and Stable Road SPAC (SRAC)
  • Redwire and Genesis Park SPAC (GNPK)
  • BlackSky and Osprey SPAC (SFTW)
  • AST SpaceMobile and New Providence Acquisition SPAC (NPA)
  • Spire Global and NavSight (NSH)
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Investors should have an even broader space stock selection down the road. Some of the best space exploration startups expected to debut on the public market eventually are:

  • SpaceX
  • Blue Origin
  • Virgin Orbit
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SpaceX is among the most famous space exploration companies but it doesn’t have publicly-traded stock yet. Musk runs the company simultaneously with Tesla. SpaceX has a contract with NASA to fly cargo and scientists to the International Space Station. It also offers a private space tour. Musk has a grand dream of colonizing Mars and building a city of 1 million people and lots of jobs there. The electric vehicle billionaire will use SpaceX to accomplish that dream.

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Blue Origin is Bezos’s space exploration company that focuses on tourism and other programs. Virgin Orbit is another Branson-backed space startup. It helps customers like NASA launch satellites into space. Virgin Orbit could follow Virgin Galactic’s footsteps by going public in a space deal. Virgin Galactic debuted through a Chamath Palihapitiya-led SPAC.

blue origin space exploration
Source: Blue Origin Facebook
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Best space exploration stocks to buy now

The best space exploration stocks for dividends right now are Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Lockheed stock offers nearly a 3 percent dividend yield, while Northrop stock offers nearly a 2 percent yield. They can be viewed as blue-chip space stocks. The space companies best-placed to benefit from NASA’s expanding space program are SpaceX, Boeing, and Astra.  

Forecast for space exploration stocks

The space economy is growing quickly. It’s forecast to reach $1.4 trillion in 2030 and more than triple from $424 billion in 2019, according to Bank of America estimates. Space tourism is expected to be a major growth driver. Investors can participate in this boom with space stocks. 


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