By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Retiring Senator Barabra Mikulski stopped by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore on Thursday to cut the ribbon on the new James Webb Space Telescope Mission Operations Center.

Alex DeMetrick has more.

Currently being assembled at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, the James Webb Telescope is being called a next generation telescope and is set to launch in 2018.

Mikluski helped launch the Hubble and keep it flying, securing the funds that broke new science in astronomy over the past 25-years.

Some of the thousands of Marylanders who worked on Hubble and transitioning to the Webb telescope, quite literally had Mikulski to thank for that work.

“Without the senator’s support, these jobs would no longer be here in the city,” said Dr. Matt Mountain, former institute director.

Nearly killed in Congress, Mikulski helped return funding for the Webb Space telescope.

It will park in orbit a million miles out.

Scientists say it’s 100-percent more powerful than the Hubble, it will see deeper through dust, distance and time.

“And the James Webb Telescope is going to reveal all of that for us for the first time, and it’s all going to be run here in Baltimore,” said Mountain.

And looking forward while saying goodbye, was very much the message.

“It was my job to help you be you. And guess what? You have been. So for all the pictures  I’ve looked at and all the discoveries, my greatest discovery has been you. How focused you are in improving the very nature of human kind,” said Mikulski.

Senator Mikulski retires at the end of the year, but she’s promising to be on hand for the 2018 launch of the Webb space Telescope.

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