From their 1979 approval to their 1984 launch, the Chrysler S-chassis minivans would undergo several major redesigns. Originally intended to use 4 sedan-style doors (similar to a station wagon), Chrysler changed to two sliding doors, claiming better parking-lot access. The design was later changed to a single sliding door, as Chrysler wanted to market the van to commercial buyers; while engineers wanted to make the left-side door an option, the tooling complexity was claimed to be too expensive. During development, the configuration of the rear door was also contentious, with a liftgate winning out over a station wagon-style tailgate. On the exterior, in 1981, the side windows were redesigned to become flush with the body; while requiring a major redesign of components and tooling, the design change allowed for a reduction of wind noise and drag. To further reduce costs, a number of visible interior components were shared with the Dodge Aries/Plymouth Reliant, including the instrument panel, interior controls, radio, and various trim items.
Earth's Moon Reveals An Ancient Secret. Many astronomers think that during an ancient era, termed the Late Heavy Bombardment, our young Moon was violently battered by a marauding multitude of invading asteroids that crashed onto its newly formed surface. This attack of pelting objects from space occurred about 4 billion years ago, and the shower of crashing asteroids excavated impact craters, and also slashed open deep fissures, in the lunar crust. This sustained shower of merciless impacts increased lunar porosity, and opened up an intertwining network of large seams under the Moon's surface. "Cassini's seven-plus years... have shown us how beautifully dynamic and unexpected the Saturn system is," commented project scientist Dr. Linda Spilker of NASA's JPL to Time Magazine's online edition on March 23, 2012. A Distant, Dusty Moon. Titan experiences changing seasons--just like Earth. In particular, Titan's seasons change around the equinox, when our Sun passes Titan's equator. At this time, huge clouds can form in tropical areas, resulting in violent methane storms. Cassini observed these ferocious methane storms during several of its flybys over Titan.