Astronauts and researchers will continue to kick around the ISS as we push to go to Mars and the Moon, using the space platform to test different technologies in space. But there are some things that simply can’t be tested so close to Earth. Out near the Moon, away from Earth’s protective magnetic field, radiation is even more intense. That's closer to what voyagers will encounter in deep space. Having a habitat in an environment slightly more similar to the conditions of an interplanetary journey will make it easier to test systems and technologies for those long treks, without having to debut them on their maiden voyage.