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Jeff Bezos Donates $200 Million to Smithsonian Institution

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who plans a trip into space on July 20, is donating $200 million to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos is donating $200 million to the Smithsonian Institution to support renovation of the National Air and Space Museum and to create a new education center at the museum.

The donation, which is the largest gift to the Smithsonian since James Smithson funded the institution's founding in 1846, will earmark $70 million for renovations to the Air and Space Museum and $130 million to establish the new education center that will be named for Bezos, according to a Wednesday statement from the Smithsonian.

The education center, to be named the Bezos Learning Center, will be a new facility built on the east side of the museum's plaza at its location on the National Mall in Washington.

Bezos may one day be included in an exhibit at the Smithsonian; He plans to fly into space on July 20 from West Texas aboard a rocket made by his space company Blue Origin. Accompanying him on his flight will be is brother Mark Bezos, aerospace pioneer Mary Wallace Funk and a winner of a $28 million auction for a seat on the flight.

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Shares of Amazon rose 0.1% to close at $3,681.68. The stock was slightly up by 0.1% in after-hours trade.

Virgin Galactic  (SPCE) - Get Virgin Galactic Report CEO Richard Branson beat his billionaire rival Bezos into space by nine days when he completed a test flight on July 11 aboard the company's VSS Unity space plane.

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