The International Space Station is useful, but NASA won't be using it for space research forever. Instead, NASA aims to put human explorers in potentially more rewarding environments in the not-so-distant future.
One of the latest ideas to be tossed about is a collaboration between Russia and the United States to build the first Moon-based orbiting space lab. It would be a lot like the International Space Station, but it would orbit the Moon instead of the Earth.
Because of its placement around the Earth's natural satellite, it would make it easier for astronauts to deploy technology on the Lunar surface and propel our footprint further into space than it already is. Moreover, it could help us prepare for deep space missions, like those of Mars.
While there are potentially endless scientific benefits to having a Moon-orbiting space lab, that's not to say everyone's onboard with the idea. As you might know already, NASA has plans to put humankind on Mars within just a few more decades, but work on a Lunar project could stall those programs and push them farther into the future.
As it would seem, there are both pros and cons to the idea. Nevertheless, any decision could help improve our understanding of space and make it more accessible for generations to come. It should be interesting to see where NASA goes with the idea and how it will transform our future initiatives.