Space exploration is entering a new era as the cost of launching vehicles into orbit has significantly declined over the last decade and will decline more over the next decade. Already, we are on the verge of "space tourism," and companies are launching satellites at a breakneck pace.

At once, space was only accessible through science fiction and government agencies but this is rapidly changing. Many waves of innovation have been kicked off by technology leading to costs dramatically dropping. Space is no different as companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are akin to companies that developed semiconductors that kicked off the computing revolution.

Just like it was impossible to predict the sequence of events and opportunities that developed when humans settled a new frontier or tech innovations spawned a new industry, it's impossible to accurately predict the investment opportunities created by space. However, here are 3 stocks that are certain to benefit:

Virgin Galactic (SPCE  )

Virgin Galactic made headlines, when it announced that it would launch its first flight into space before Blue Origin. The company has been booking reservations for $250,000 per person for many years and has been making slow but intermittent progress towards its goal.

Currently, Virgin Galactic is the leader when it comes to space tourism. However, the company is certainly a risky bet given its valuation, potential competition, and the risk of something going wrong.

Aerojet Rocketdyne (ARDJ  )

Aerojet Rocketdyne is known for producing rockets that are used by NASA. Its newest rocket is supposed to be the most powerful rocket ever used and able to go further into space than ever before. However, the company derives the majority of its revenue from defense contractors for its guided missile systems and air defense.

Last quarter, sales were up by 10%, and backlogs increased by 45%. As more vehicles and cargo is taken into space, Aerojet should certainly benefit as one of the top rocket companies.

Trimble (TRMB  )

It's not a coincidence that TRMB is one of the top holdings in several space ETFs. The company is very reasonably priced but has significant upside to growth in space as its GPS systems are integral to coordinating launches and returns to Earth. It also holds many important patents that are integral for the space industry. Trimble is well-positioned to grow and capture value as the overall industry expands.