By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Even in space, it’s good to have friends in high places.

Alex DeMetrick reports thousands of Marylanders who work for NASA thanked their best friend Wednesday.

And like that, Senator Barbara Mikulski vanished at Goddard’s Space Flight Center, a welcome from those she has supported in down-to-earth budget battles so they can continue looking up and out.

In Maryland, 9,000 NASA employees whose mission is to find new discoveries in the universe and greater understanding of how our own planet works.

“For all our discovery, what I loved most was discovering you,” Mikulski said.

“I think we can look at Barbara Mikulski as one person who made a huge and positive impact,” said Dr. Compton Tucket.

Like finding the funds to fix the Hubble space telescope and keep it flying and backing the next generation James Webb telescope.

“She’s been a champion for all of us,” said Emma Antunes.

“There will be a time when my spirit goes to a galaxy far, far away but my heart will always be here, cheering you on,” Mikulski said. “And I humbly ask that the Force always be with you.”

As Senator Mikulski enters her final year in office, she says she will continue to fight for NASA projects.