The Research Station is a Large Module that is used to research Research Items. Researching already-researched variants of a Research Item is more likely to grant one random material from a predetermined list. Astroneer contains a large quantity of objects than can only be built after the schematic for it has been revealed, so it is critical to seek out and research items in order to progress. It requires 8 bars of Power to perform research.
To learn more about the mechanics of Research in Astroneer, see Research (Mechanic)