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One day in 2003, a team from the Discovery Channel's "Daily Planet" visited the home of Canadian amateur inventor Richard Walker to shoot a segment about his ongoing effort to build and launch a personal spacecraft of his own design. Though he had begun dieting, exercising, and practising in his backyard centrifuge, Walker's plans were met with some skepticism, particularly when he unveiled some of his recent work: "The new mould for that capsule is in here," he explained, lifting a blue tarp to reveal what looked like a plywood playground for neighborhood squirrels. "Oh Jeez, is that water in here? What in the hell happened here! Is that pitch sap? Uh-oh -- there's some little guy hibernating in here. Some little guy's hibernating in here! He sure likes to s--- alot..."

[The X-Prize is a $10,000,000 (ten million dollar) prize (modeled after the $25,000 Orteig Prize which inspired Charles Lindbergh to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 1927) for the first privately-funded team or group to launch three civilian passengers at least 100 km into space, return them to Earth, and repeat the procedure (using the same vehicle) within 14 days.]

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