Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is known for a multitude of things and it looks like you’ll be seeing his name in the Smithsonian. After paying an exorbitant amount of money, he gets to have his name displayed on the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum branch.
Daily Mail reported the hefty donation yesterday, which will have Bezos’ name displayed on the new Bezos Learning Center. Several other locations around the museum will also feature his name. The donation’s size ensures this will last at least 50 years, according to the terms of the agreement. This marks the largest donation the Smithsonian has ever received.
Specifically, the money will cover renovations, as well as a new science, technology, engineering, and arts (STEAM) education center. These additions will be in a new building connected to the East Wing of the National Air and Space segment in Washington, D.C. As for the renovations, they will primarily go toward the museum’s existing restaurant area this spring. The museum aims to replace it with an entirely new building and hopes to open it in 2026.
Bezos will also have his name etched onto a glass sculpture, Anyone who donates $10 million or more receives this honor. The Smithsonian will display it on a wall in the Distinguished Benefactors Room in the Smithsonian Castle. The organization released a statement about the learning center last July, saying “The Bezos Learning Center will support our mission of inspiring the next generation of innovators, explorers and researchers.”
This announcement came exactly one week before Bezos himself blasted off into space. The Blue Origin crew traveled 66 miles from the Earth’s surface and lasted a total of 10 minutes.
Elon Musk Fires Shots at Jeff Bezos and Says He Doesn’t Work Hard Enough
Jeff Bezos donated a sizable amount to the Smithsonian and has many projects in the works. That being said, not everyone is a fan of his. One notable person is his space rival Elon Musk, who recently called him out for not working hard enough.
Speaking to the Financial Times last year, Musk discussed the ongoing space race against Bezos. Though he noted Bezos as a “friend” and complimented his “reasonably good engineering aptitude,” he said he isn’t working hard enough.
“[Bezos] does take himself a bit too seriously,” Musk told the outlet. “In some ways, I’m trying to goad him into spending more time at Blue Origin so they make more progress. As a friend of mine says, he should spend more time at Blue Origin and less time in the hot tub […] But he does not seem to be willing to spend mental energy getting into the details of engineering. The devil’s in the details.”
Musk went on further to say he spends 80 to 90 hours a week on both Tesla and SpaceX projects. Conversely, a CNBC report claimed Bezos only dedicated two days a week to Blue Origin.