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Here are the best stocks to buy to get in on the space race

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Virgin Galactic's spacecraft Unity reaches space for the first time.
Source: Virgin Galactic

(This story is for CNBC PRO subscribers only.)

Space is increasingly becoming a place of business – ranging from communications, data and soon even tourism – and there are a few ways you can invest right now.

Investor interest in the space industry has grown rapidly and private investment in space companies is at an all-time high. But the number of publicly-traded names remains relatively low compared to other industries its size. Additionally, several of the companies that bring in the most revenue from space are aerospace and defense giants like Boeing or Northrop Grumman, with a minority of each companies' total revenue coming from its space unit.

To help investors, here are three ways to get exposure to space, based on Wall Street's consensus view: The top pure-play stock, the top derivative stock and the top risky stock.

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