Space Race Stocks: 3 Companies Shooting for the Stars


  • The democratization and capitalization of outer space make these stocks highly attractive.
  • Terran Orbital (LLAP): Terran Orbital is showing signs, positive and negative, but is worth a look.
  • RocketLab USA (RKLB): RocketLab looks to be back on track.
  • Planet Labs PBC (PL): Planet Labs PBC is engaged in utilitarian endeavors related to space.
Space Stocks - Space Race Stocks: 3 Companies Shooting for the Stars

Source: Shutterstock

The space stock sector remains speculative but also highly interesting. Traditionally, space companies highly align with and are funded by the government. However, that is changing.

These days, titans of the industry, including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, continue to funnel billions of dollars into the sector. The commercial space industry was valued at $546 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow by another 41% within 5 years. The emergence of space affirms SpaceX as a household name, paving the way for future growth. The extraterrestrial cash grab will continue to excite investors, making these companies inherently interesting.

Terran Orbital (LLAP)

(RKLB stock, space stocks) satellite over the Earth
Source: Andrzej Puchta /

Terran Orbital (NYSE:LLAP) is a satellite manufacturer that engages in a lot of business tangential to that field. The company designs, builds and operates satellites and offers other services, including launch capability.

While the company is shooting for the stars, it also offers a mixed bag of investment worthiness. Some signs point to a very strong continued potential for the firm. For example, during the most recent earnings, revenues increased by 58% to $43.9 million — a record.

Further, Terran Orbital benefits from the strong support of Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). Lockheed Martin invested $100 million in the company in 2022 and awarded the company an additional $7.7 million in October 2023.

That said, Terran Orbital had to substantially adjust its guidance for 2023 downward. The company currently expects revenues for the full 2023 year to exceed $130 million. Previously, it gave guidance of 2023 revenues over $250 million. The substantial downgrade is attributable to contract performance uncertainty with Rivada Space Networks.

RocketLab USA (RKLB)

Person holding smartphone with logo of aerospace company Rocket Lab USA Inc. (RKLB) on screen in front of website. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.
Source: T. Schneider /

RocketLab USA (NASDAQ:RKLB) has a fairly long industry of developing launch and control systems for rockets. That makes it another interesting investment within the space race.

The company launches small satellites and recently initiated its 42nd mission on Dec. 15. The satellite was launched for the Japanese company iQPS. Ultimately, the satellite will be part of a 36-satellite constellation monitoring fixed points on Earth at 10-minute intervals. The company hopes to complete the constellation by 2025 or later. 

The company launched 10 of its Electron rockets in 2023. That puts Rocket Lab ahead of its 2022 record of nine such launches. 

RocketLab’s revenues grew by 7.3% in the third quarter, reaching $67.66 million. That figure bested guidance by a moderate $0.1 million. The company anticipates about $50 million of space systems revenue in the fourth quarter and an additional $16.5 million of launch revenues during the period. 

The company anticipates 22 Electron rocket launches in 2024, a significant bump following failures that grounded its rockets in 2023.

Planet Labs PBC (PL)

Beautiful space view of the Earth with cloud formation
Source: KeyFame /

Planet Labs PBC (NYSE:PL) is certainly shooting for the stars in the hopes of becoming a much larger company. However, it isn’t a moonshot stock in a company engaged in risky business.

The company uses small satellites to take high-frequency photographs of Earth it then sells to various parties. The company isn’t trying to land a rocket on Mars or anything extremely likely to fail. Instead, it is simply engaged in a utilitarian business that benefits from high demand and a product that isn’t particularly difficult to sell. The company can sell across a variety of sectors, including defense, agriculture, insurance, technology, energy and more.

PL currently boasts 976 customers, providing it with $55.4 million in revenues during the third quarter, an 11% increase. That said, the company still reports a net loss. Nevertheless, Planet Labs PBC benefits from strong analyst ratings and is engaged in a utilitarian business that certainly has room to grow.

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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