NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted seven Earth-sized planets orbiting around a single star. Most importantly, three of those planets are in the habitable zone, which encompasses "the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water."
At 40 light-years or 235 trillion miles from Earth, these planets are relatively close to us. And with NASA's space shuttles retiring this year and private space flight becoming more of a reality with companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX, your nerd dreams of making space your ultimate luxury vacation frontier will probably happen in your lifetime. It's just a matter of affording it.
Let's take a look at six companies competing for a slice of space exploration. Larger engineering companies like Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA) are also throwing their hat into the ring for commercial space exploration and it'll be interesting to see which company ultimately benefits the most from interplanetary traveling.
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