I don't seem to be alone in feeling that the trade platform ruins the exploration in this game. Once you have most of the research covered, there's little incentive in continuing to pick up compound and resin, or even find a new planet if you're short on these (Of course the game is in a very early stage, but mechanically I don't except it to change massively. Rarity of research and materials is the name of the game).
I have a feeling that (if it'll stay in the game) it'll eventually be a very late-game item to, exactly, replace having to scout for early resources. However, this is not the case yet, and as such I suggest the following:
The function and looks sorta stay the same for the building itself; two rockets and 2 x 2 pads (for storage modules), but instead of connecting with an unknown entity in space, they connect to one another, ie. useless alone. You travel to a new planet, put down another one, and now have the ability to send 8 nodes worth of resources back and forth. This could simply be done by redoing the current trade ratio <- [ ] -> indicator to choose which relay receives the material. Upon receiving materials, they'd simply be put onto an available space, such as one of the storage modules.
This both makes settling on a new planet easier and more engaging, but also promote co-op, such as managing a new planet each, assisting each other, sending back to the main base without needing to fly a lot.
I'm a sucker for many smaller bases over one huge, and the more ways I'd be able to connect and 'improve' on them with such a network, I think it'd be a lot more engaging than basically starting a new save game on a new planet, albeit with a bit of a handicap in terms of resources, every single time.