Millionaire who flew to space on Bezos’ rocket dies in plane crash
Glen de Vries, the businessman who visited space last month alongside ‘Star Trek’ lead & RT host William Shatner aboard a rocket produced by Jeff Bezos’ aerospace firm, has died in a plane crash at the age of 49.
A small private plane carrying de Vries and another man, 54-year-old Thomas Fischer, crashed in Hampton Township, New Jersey near the border with New York on Thursday, killing both, the New Jersey state police told media outlets.
The 49-year-old had made a brief suborbital flight to space on October 13 with William Shatner, who hosts the talk show ‘I Don’t Understand’ on RT America, as well as Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Audrey Powers, an executive of Bezos’ space tourism company Blue Origin. It was Blue Origin’s second manned space mission, with a third planned for later this year.
The company also noted the entrepreneur’s passing, saying it was “devastated” by the news, which wasn’t reported until Friday afternoon.
“He brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired,” the firm tweeted.
We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries. He brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired. pic.twitter.com/1hwnjntTVs— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) November 12, 2021
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the crash, the cause of which remains unclear, police added. FAA records cited by CNN said the plane was a four-seat Cessna 172, which went down under “unknown circumstances in a heavily wooded area.”
Reportedly a certified private pilot, de Vries co-founded Medidata Solutions in 1999, a company that specializes in software used for clinical trials and medical research which has since become among the most-used platforms of its kind in the world.
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