Dear Evil Engineer,

After several years working for a reusable rocket start-up in the US, I feel ready to take a risk and start my own business. I am interested in stylish, sustainable alternatives to rocket launches – something to set my offering apart from all of those the other private space companies jostling for contracts. My big idea is to revive and reimagine an iconic bit of engineering history: the trebuchet.

We have access to materials and techniques today that would allow for trebuchets of unprecedented size to be constructed, if there is a business case for it, and I know from my years in the industry that there is demand for cheaper, lower-carbon launches. But is it possible to launch a satellite into orbit with a trebuchet?


Not quite a villain


Dear Not quite a villain,

It’s always encouraging to hear that a bright young engineer is examining all sorts of exciting possibilities for a start-up of their own. I hope you will consider...