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I understand launching the module to the ISS has several benefits:

  1. Power supply is provided
  2. Servicing capacity
  3. Orbital control is provided
  4. Thermal control might be provided ?

But what are the key factors that made it a module instead of a simple satellite

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From the Wikipedia article on the AMS:

The power requirements for AMS-02 were thought to be too great for a practical independent spacecraft.

The AMS needs up to 2.5 kW, so as an independent satellite it would need rather large solar panels.

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