Space exploration stocks might be the next best travel and investment opportunity for humans, and many companies are trying to be the first to enter this investment gold mine. We know Elon Musk’s Space X and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Despite being privately held companies, they have tons of funding and partnerships.
However, this article will not focus on them. In 2021, space exploration stocks hit the US stock market via Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). Their founders also want a piece of the space pie. Many investors thought the stock prices would go to the moon.
Since they returned to earth, they have been hitting new lows weekly. To add more bad news, SPAC space stocks aren’t the only ones in the race. Other public companies that have been around for much longer already have a foot in the game. They were space pioneers. Competition is fierce, and the race is on. Who is ahead of the others? Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
- List of Space Exploration Stocks
- Space Pioneer Stocks
- Is Lockheed Martin a Good Investment?
- Space ETFs
List of Space Exploration Stocks
|LMT||Lockheed Martin Corp|
Many companies are transitioning towards space exploration as it is ever-growing and demanding. Space exploration will be a key field with a progressive 2021 and a more demanding future.
It’s more than Elon Musk and SpaceX. You could say he’s a visionary in this field. And you can’t even buy SpaceX stock. But there are space exploration stocks you can invest in. The further we go into this, we might even be going into space ourselves.
No more NASA only. Or you are watching space launches on TV. Much has been made about moving to Mars and colonizing other planets that can hold life. It’s not just a Syfy anymore.
If they make it affordable to the average person, we could see a whole new world. Would that be something everyone wants to do? Probably not. Some of us want to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. But we could make money off this.
Just think about visiting friends or family in space. Are we going to see a world like that? We all thought by 2020, we’d be driving flying cars, and we’re barely getting automated cars from companies like Tesla.
So who knows where we’ll be with this in the future, if anywhere? However, if we’re talking about space exploration stocks, here are the top 5 to invest in.
SPAC Space Exploration Stocks
We begin with companies that haven’t been around for long. Recently, they went public via a SPAC. Their success depends on whether or not the technology they develop will be successful.
The space exploration industry requires a lot of capital for research & development. How much longer can they burn cash on Earth? Spoiler alert, this section is very pessimistic due to a lack of positive news from these newer companies.
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE)
In October 2019, Virgin Galactic became the first space exploration stocks company to go public via SPAC. The stock is down 28% since and 80% from its all-time highs in June 2021.
In July 2021, billionaire founder Richard Branson was aboard the company’s first space flight along with a full crew to space. Earlier this year, Virgin Galactic delayed once again its space travel operations.
The first commercial flight was set to be in 2020; now, it might only happen in 2023. The company’s setback is apparently due to supply chain and labor issues.
Virgin Galactic was once upon a time the leader in the industry. First-mover advantage usually works for companies, especially in a multibillion-dollar industry. I
n this case; it won’t unless there is a major turn of events. They are at risk of being beaten by their rivals on top of facing lawsuits for misleading investors.
On the bright side, they appear to be working on hypersonic intercontinental travel. Thanks to a partnership with Rolls Royce, they project a 19-seat aircraft that can do New York-London in 90 minutes. However, this project is still years away from being completed.
Who knows when any of this technology will be accessible? Until it is and without any safety concerns, the stock will remain at an all-time low.
AstraSpace (NASDAQ: ASTR)
AstraSpace’s stock performance is very similar to Virgin Galactic’s. After the SPAC, the stock jumped almost 90% due to the hype.
Unfortunately, it currently sits at an all-time low and is down over 90% to almost $1. Does this stock have the potential to rise from the ashes?
AstraSpace’s objective is to launch on a weekly and, ultimately, a daily basis by 2025. The company also has some weather technology in partnership with NASA. They want to do this as quickly and as cheaply as possible.
In February of 2022, problems with a rocket caused the loss of 4 NASA-funded satellites. Later this year, another failed NASA mission caused another setback in June.
They are investigating why 80% of their missions fail. Maybe AstraSpace needs to stop cutting costs. The company seems to promise the heavens but cannot get off Earth.
AstraSpace’s stock will remain glued to Earth if its missions and promises are unfulfilled.
Space Exploration Stocks: Momentus (NASDAQ: MNTS)
Is there hope with Momentus? Different stock, same story. SPAC, 147% rise, 92% drop to an all-time low of $2. Momentus promised to remove space junk with its water-based propulsion.
Momentus also promises to offer a shuttle service on a reusable rocket to space. How are the promises going?
Bad. They failed missions and launches. Few details are provided regarding what is wrong. What about water-based propulsion?
There seem to be issues with that as well. Let’s hope the company doesn’t put more space junk instead of removing it.
RocketLab (NASDAQ: RKLB)
Last on our SPAC space exploration stocks list is Rocket Lab. I won’t get into its stock price movement; you can already guess it. Many experts in the field have much more hope in Rocket Lab than its competitors.
Rocket Lab has already launched more than 100 satellites into space. It is also focused on smaller objects. Furthermore, commercial launches are already underway. So far, in 2022, the company launched four successful missions. It is also promising to implement a same-day space delivery.
Rocket Lab can manufacture and build its components and launch satellites and rockets. Despite a stock beatdown, I have to say there is much more hope for Rocket Lab than for the other stocks mentioned above.
It’s hard to determine today which company will be successful in the next five years. It seems to me that Virgin Galactic has to be one of them. The company has too many sponsors and partners to fail. It would be a shame.
Rocket Lab also seems well-positioned to succeed in this very competitive industry. Keep a close eye on these stocks as they offer high risk and rewards.
Space Pioneer Stocks
How about some positive news? The stocks below have a proven track record spanning many decades. They’ve done everything from the first moon mission to military contracts. They may not be space exploration stocks, but their technology can shock the industry. Let’s look at a few companies and bring some positivity back.
Boeing can be considered one of the first space exploration stocks. The company helped build the rocket that brought Appolo 11 to the moon in 1969.
Today, the company is back in the business. In May 2022, after two failed attempts, it successfully launched its Starliner and docked it at the space station.
Boeing also joined forces with Lockheed Martin. They provide space launch vehicles to many international companies, namely Amazon and NASA. Boeing’s subsidiary Aurora Flight Services also designs and manufactures equipment for Virgin Galactic. Boeing is well-positioned to benefit from exploration thanks to its many partnerships, international recognition, and access to funds.
Is Lockheed Martin a Good Investment?
Lockheed Martin also earned some credits for the Apollo 11 mission. The mission wouldn’t have happened without the company’s expertise. As mentioned earlier, they also have partnerships with Boeing and NASA.
Unfortunately, Lockheed Martin does not have any commercial customers. They are focused on the military and government agencies and doing an excellent job there.
I won’t be surprised if Lockheed attempts to take over a space exploration company and develop its existing technologies.
It would be a strategic way to enter the space and gain the company’s existing clients. Until then, Lockheed is a solid company that will continue to build various parts for the aerospace, arms, defense, and tech sectors.
Space Exploration Stocks: Northrop Grumman (NOC)
Northrop Grumman is very similar to Lockheed Martin. Both space exploration stocks have military contracts, work with NASA and develop aerospace and defense technologies. For those interested in the James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop is responsible for it.
Space exploration may not be its primary concern, but the company has the technology to compete with the other big boys.
A final word concerning space pioneers. They will certainly offer safer returns and dividends than space exploration startups. Some may even look to acquire an existing company with an edge over others.
It remains to be seen. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman are excellent stock picks due to their partnerships with their military contracts, NASA, and other big companies.
In this final space exploration stocks section, we will look at ETFs tracking various companies in the space industry.
Procure Space is investing in companies that roam in Space. Their funds are distributed between the SPAC companies mentioned above and companies already proven themselves. From space exploration to communication networks, there is something for everyone. Their top 10 holdings can be found here.
ARK is positioned for long-term growth and active management. Its top 10 holdings differ from Procure Space. The focus is primarily on the aerospace industry. There isn’t much space exploration. None of the companies mentioned in this article appear in its top 10 holdings. There is also more geographical diversification with some European and Asian stocks.
The last ETF on today’s list is heavily invested in the aerospace & defense industry sector. Boeing, Lockheed, and Northrop are all part of its top 10 holdings. Once again, there isn’t much space exploration. Maybe it will be added when the stocks gain some life.
Space Exploration Stocks Final Thoughts
To conclude, space exploration stocks still have a long way to go before doing any actual space travel. Many companies have been formed in the last three years thanks to a SPAC. Their performance has been subpar.
This is due to continuous mistakes, failed launches, and missed deadlines. According to their original timelines, they should be doing commercial space exploration. Unfortunately, it isn’t the case. These mistakes led to shareholders complaining about the truth behind their statements.
Thankfully, other companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman have been around for much longer and are safer alternatives.