Some of the finest human achievements in history involve space exploration. Our DNA is wired to push our curiosity to new levels. Many of us stare into the night sky and dream of experiencing the weightlessness of space or visiting another planet. It used to seem like science fiction to occupy Mars, but it may become a reality. Visionaries like Elon Musk have enabled a commercial segment of space exploration, and with some time, it could give the next big boost to your portfolio. 

This July, billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos dominated headlines as space cowboys revolutionizing tourism into the next frontier. At first glance, it may seem that space tourism is the way to play this hot new megatrend. However, when you dig under the hood, you will find that this may not be the case. 

Space exploration, although an exciting growth trend, is an unknown and speculative industry. There's no question that there's money to be made in this sector, but which stocks are the best long-term possibilities? Today, I am joined by FIRED Up Wealth's Space Exploration moderators, who share their 4 favorite stocks in the sector. 

The stock picks covered today may not be the ones that first come to mind. In fact, you may not have heard of a couple. The unanimous favorite is Rocket Lab (NASDAQ:RKLB), which some consider the baby brother to Elon Musk's private company SpaceX. Rocket Lab is similar to SpaceX in that both are end-to-end space companies delivering launch services, spacecraft, satellite components, on-orbit management, and more. 

If you aren't familiar with this sector, watching the video below will be time well spent. We break down the sector and share three additional stock ideas. 

*Stock prices used in the below video were during the trading day of Nov. 16, 2021. The video was published on Nov. 17, 2021.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.