Another possibility, depending on the distance limit of the teleportation devices, one could use the first space station to make other stations in orbit, then tow them with a craft built in space to the next distance limit, and so on, building a series of stations to act as a bridge. You teleport from the surface of the planet to the station, and from one station to another until you could teleport to the moon or Mars or farther.
If the teleportation distance limit was greater, one could even teleport directly to the moon or Mars from Earth's surface, or from the first space station, once receivers are in place. If the limit was great enough, send a craft out into the void, and to the nearest extra-solar star. Then once it's in place, teleport a science team out there. If the signal goes out at light-speed, it would take them years to get there, but without the need for cryogenics or elaborate long term life support (such as artificial ecosystems and the like), also it would be without boredom, and they wouldn't age in that time either. Five years would pass for Earth, but only a second would pass for them. (Okay, so 10 years while Earth waits for the first signal to get back.)
On the other hand, since it's quantum science that's giving us our first possibility for teleportation to be real, maybe teleportation is instantaneous. In which case, we could be light-years away in seconds once the teleportation receiver is in place. That, and normal radio communications would be unnecessary and slow. Even if you couldn't teleport a data signal or 2-way communication in the typical sense, you could always put reports on a thumb drive or the like and teleport the thumb drive back home.
Then of course, once an extra-solar facility is in place, information from the science team could be used to determine whether or not, and how much, humans can/should build in that system. It would also be used to build another long-distance craft to go to another system.
One thing they would be wise to build at these extra-solar sites would be space telescopes, for viewing stars and so on from another perspective. The findings would be digitally recorded, copied to external drives, and teleported back to Earth.
With a system like that, how long would it take for humans to colonize our own solar system, and others? In a century, where would we be? And what advances could we make with the kind of information we'd gather from these explorations? If, instead of teleporting physical drives, we could have some kind of teleportation-based radio communication, maybe there could be an interstellar Internet. And wouldn't it be awesome to teleport to another star system for vacation? If we find a planet with life, or figure out terraforming, we could grow food offworld and teleport it home.
If communication signals could be teleported, it would also revolutionize telecommunications. No more wires, no more radio or TV or other airwave signals! Every possible use for communication could be done through teleported signals. The Internet even just on Earth would connect computers to one another via teleported signals. Hell, even computers themselves could operate that way, with micro-teleporters. They might even be quantum computers, making our current best computers look like difference engines by comparison.
Mining asteroids would be easy as fuck, too. Send a craft to an asteroid, have robots do all the work, teleport the mined materials back to Earth on a regular schedule. Humans would only be needed for maintenance.
There are implications for world travel too, obviously. Economic changes as people can travel around the world even more easily than before. Increases in tourism, but airlines would either go out of business or be forced to adapt. Many other means of transportation would be in economic dire straights. Jobs would be different, too, since you could teleport anywhere in the world to work. It would greatly affect the economy, because you'd have to compete for jobs from people all over the world. But trade would go up. And space travel would make a new place for the economy to expand into. Once the infrastructure is in place, resources from space would come in. Research stations of many kinds would pop up in space, flooding us with new information and technology. And we could ease the burden of overpopulation as more and more people go out into space. All these benefits would only increase as we went interstellar.
So in short, if we perfect long-distance teleportation, the only use for spaceships would be automated craft for exploration and to create stepping stones for human travelers, and everything would change. It will be just as big a leap ahead as fabber technology will.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org