Newtonian dynamics applied to galactic conditions implies that there exists a large amount of matter in the Universe that we have hitherto been unable to detect directly. After nearly a century of extensive research, surprisingly little progress has been made regarding the nature of this dark matter. Some scientists believe that the missing mass is an illusion created by non-Newtonian dynamics that reign in certain astronomical environments. The most successful of these theories is MOND (MOdified Newtonian Dynamics). MOND has produced interesting results and has survived various observational tests despite certain shortcomings, particularly on the cosmological scale. None the less, MOND has proved to be a feasible solution to the missing mass problem based on our observations so far.
In the April 2010 issue of MNASSA (Vol 69, Nos 3 & 4, p.67) Dr Peter Martinez reviewed the book Cracking the Sky: A History of rocket science in South Africa. This book details the activities of Desmond Prout-Jones which deals solely with his activities. As Martinez pointed out, the book does not really live up to its title as it completely ignores the activities of other amateur rocketry groups that were active in South Africa at the time. Consequently, some of the claims made in the book are not completely valid.
Vela was part of Jason and the Argonauts' vessel, originally named Argo Navis, used, amongst others, in the hunt for the Golden Fleece. Until 1750 this ship was one large and sprawling constellation when the French celestial cartographer, Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille was producing charts of the southern hemisphere skies and dismembered it into four pieces. Puppis the poop deck, Vela representing the sails of the mighty ship, firmly attached to Carina the keel and Pyxis the ship's compass.