The Oatmeal writer Matthew Inman has just gotten a high-profile supporter for his campaign to buy Nikola Tesla's laboratory: space and internet tycoon Elon Musk. Jalopnik reports that they put Inman in touch with Musk, who said Tesla was a personal hero and pledged to make an online donation. Musk helped found PayPal and later SpaceX; more appropriately, he also co-founded electric car company Tesla Motors. Inman initially asked if Tesla Motors itself might make a donation, but Musk said a personal one would be more feasible.

Inman hopes to raise $850,000 to help the Tesla Science Center, which wants to use the laboratory as a museum but must outbid a rival developer that apparently plans to turn it into a retail center. Indiegogo, where the campaign is hosted, is down right now, but the plan had $260,000 in donations as of yesterday. If it reaches its goal, funds can be used to help build the museum itself. Besides Tesla Motors, Inman also invited Google, Christian Bale, and others to donate, so we'll see if more Tesla fans step up to the plate.

Update: Indiegogo is back online, and the campaign has passed $400,000.