One of the primary goals of human spaceflight has been putting human cognition on other worlds. This is at the heart of the premise of what we call space exploration. But Earth-controlled telerobotic facilities can now bring human senses to other worlds and, in that respect, the historical premise of exploration, of boots on the ground, no longer clearly applies. We have ways of achieving remote presence that we never used to have. But the distances over which this must be achieved, by humans based on the Earth, is such that the speed of light seriously handicaps their awareness and cognition. The highest quality telepresence can be achieved not only by having people on site, but also by having people close, and it is that requirement that truly mandates human spaceflight. In terms of cost, safety, and survival, getting people close is easier than getting people all the way there. It is suggested here that to the extent that space exploration is best accomplished by achieving a sense of real human off-Earth presence, that presence can be best achieved by optimally combining human spaceflight to mitigate latency, with telerobotics, to keep those humans secure. This is culturally a new perspective on exploration.

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