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“Save Space Camp” drive pulls in $1.1M; Boeing gives 500K

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A fundraising drive launched to help the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and Space Camp through the coronavirus pandemic has pulled in more than $1.1 million in just a few days.

The online effort that began Tuesday had brought in nearly $620,000 by Friday afternoon, and officials said Boeing contributed another $500,000.

That brings total donations to nearly 75% of the $1.5 million that officials say is needed to keep the operation going after stiff losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is a cherished institution that has inspired generations of future scientists, engineers, pilots and even astronauts – many of whom now call Boeing home,” said John Shannon, Vice President & Program Manager for Space Launch Systems at Boeing. “With today’s investment, we proudly stand alongside the Center – throughout this pandemic and beyond – as we work towards our shared goal of making Space Camp an even better, brighter, more inclusive experience for our future innovators.”

More than 6,000 people and corporations worldwide have contributed, museum officials said in an announcement.

The state-owned attraction shut down for weeks earlier this year to stop the spread of COVID-19. Officials say donations are needed to keep the museum open and to restart Space Camp sessions next year.

Located near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the museum features space exhibits and Space Camp allows students and adults to simulate space missions. A dozen people who went on to become astronauts or cosmonauts have attended Space Camp, which inspired a 1986 movie of the same name.

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