SpaceX's rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station may have exploded into a million pieces this past weekend, but the company's dream of sending up manned spaceflights in 2017 are undaunted, according to the company.
Since SpaceX is still a private company, investors don't pay for the woes of failed missions. But some other public space exploration competitors are worth investing in because they're more diversified, say analysts.
These competitors also offer a down-to-earth advantage: profitable core businesses that aren't just tied to wobbly space fortunes. Extra sales boosts come from growing satellite or aerospace niches, which lend stability in a space race awash in liftoff failures.
Take Orbital ATK, which makes rockets and satellites and is a SpaceX competitor. Orbital ATK, which is a recent merger between two space companies, has its Antares rocket that's meant to supply the International Space Station. Not that all of its blasters are on go, though. The rocket was supposed to deliver a Cygnus cargo spacecraft full of supplies, but it exploded last October. So the company has a retooled rocket that's scheduled to be launched next year.