Virgin Galactic spacecraft
Source: Virgin Galactic Facebook

Which Space Travel Stocks to Buy After Virgin (SPCE) Test Flight

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Jul. 12 2021, Published 8:33 a.m. ET

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) stock was soaring in early morning trading on July 12 after falling more than 6 percent on July 9. SPCE stock's spike followed its successful test flight on July 11 that took founder Sir Richard Branson and other staff members to space. The test flight has stirred investors’ interest in space travel stocks.

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After Branson, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will go to space on July 20 aboard a Blue Origin spacecraft. That flight is expected to include a paying passenger who forked out $28 million for the experience.

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Right now, the list of publicly traded space travel companies is short, which limits the selection for investors seeking space travel stocks similar to Virgin Galactic. The list should expand in the near future considering the many space startups in SPAC merger agreements.

Space travel stocks to buy other than Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic plans to offer a space tourism service. It intends to conduct one more test flight before launching a commercial service. People can’t wait for Virgin to give them a space experience with more than 600 customers reserving tickets.

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In addition to Virgin Galactic, the other public space travel companies you might want to consider for an investment are Astra Space (ASTR), Boeing (BA), Lockheed Martin (LMT), and Northrop Grumman (NOC).

Astra is up 150 percent in the past year but still trades at more than a 20 percent discount to its all-time high. Boeing stock has gained about 40 percent over the past year but still trades 14 percent below its recent peak. LMT stock has climbed 13 percent over the past year and trades 5 percent below its recent highs. Northrop has gained more than 20 percent in 2021 and 30 percent in the past year.

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jeff bezos blue origin test flight
Source: Blue Origin Facebook

Are space travel stocks a good investment?

The space travel industry's future is bright. A particularly interesting segment is space tourism, which companies like Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, and Elon Musk's SpaceX target. The global space tourism market is on track to nearly triple from an estimated $651 million in 2020 to $1.7 billion in 2027. The segment could grow to $3 billion by 2030.

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Private space travel companies

There's a long list of private space travel companies. Some of the companies are focused on providing express point-to-point travel through space, while others are targeting the space tourism market. Some of the notable private space travel companies are Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, Space Adventures, Zero 2 Infinity, Space Island Group, and Axiom Space.

Space travel ETFs

Investors can get exposure to space travel stocks through ETFs. The selection in this area is currently limited, but there should be more choices over time. The funds that give investors exposure to space travel stocks are Cathie Wood’s ARKX, the Procure Space ETF (UFO), and the SPDR S&P Kensho Final Frontiers ETF (ROKT).

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spacex elon musk
Source: istock

Space travel SPACs

Many space startups have lined up to go public through SPAC mergers. If you’re looking for space-themed SPAC stocks, there's a long list of options. Stable Road Acquisition SPAC (SRAC) is taking SpaceX partner Momentus public. Momentus will trade under the “MNTS” ticker symbol after the transaction is complete. Vector SPAC (VACQ) is taking SpaceX competitor Rocket Lab public. Rocket Lab stock will trade under the ticker symbol “RKLB” after the SPAC merger closes.

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Other space-oriented SPACs are Genesis Park SPAC (GNPK), which will combine with Redwire, Osprey SPAC (SFTW), which will merge with BlackSky, and NavSight (NSH), which is taking Spire Global public.

How to invest in space travel stocks

If you want to buy a space stock, you’ll need to have a brokerage account. You can open an account with online brokers like Robinhood, SoFi, Webull, or Square’s CashApp. If you want to invest in private space travel companies, you’ll need SEC accreditation.

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