Russia, for the first time in 11 years, plans to launch two new modules to the International Space Station (ISS) in April and September 2021, a source in the rocket and space industry told Sputnik.

In late July, Russian state space corporation Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin announced that the launch of the Nauka (Science) module was set for April 2021.

"The launch of the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module is scheduled for April 20, 2021, and the Prichal nodal module, for September 14, 2021," the source said.

Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) Nauka construction started in 1995. Initially, it was a ground backup of Zarya, the first ISS module. In 2004, it was decided to cut costs for the Russian segment of the ISS and to convert the backup into a full-fledged flight module. Its launch was scheduled for 2007, but was repeatedly delayed.