Dear Evil Engineer,

Having spent 15 years working my way into the petty ranks of the millionaires with my dodgy data analytics company, I am keen to move on to the next stage in my career. I aspire to become a fashionable oligarch making a splash in the commercial space sector, which is where all the other oligarchs seem to be having the most fun.
I’m interested in providing an alternative to commercial rocket launch services: to launch satellites into orbit using a cannon large enough to double up as an execution device. Is this a promising path to a lucrative Nasa contract and invitation to the Met Gala?

An entrepreneurial villain


Dear villain,

If you can offer a convincing alternative to rocket launches for propelling satellites into orbit and beyond, you may well have it made in the commercial space sector. Rockets are expensive (with launches to low Earth orbit costing at least $2,000/kg), polluting, and more prone to exploding than is typically...