A man who exploded into space along with a Star Trek star dies in a crash

A man who traveled to space with Star Trek actor William Shatner was killed last month along with another person when the plane in which they were crashed in a wooded area of ​​northern New Jersey, according to state police.

One-time space tourist Glen M. de Vries, 49, of New York City, and Thomas P. Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, NJ, were on the single-engine Cessna 172 that crashed Thursday.

De Vries was an instrument-rated private pilot, and Fischer owned a flying school. Authorities did not say who piloted the small plane.

The plane left Essex County Airport in Caldwell, NJ, on the outskirts of the New York area, and was headed to Sussex Airport in rural northwestern New Jersey when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerted public safety agencies to search for the missing aircraft around the 15th in local time.

Emergency crews found the wreckage around 4 p.m., the FAA said.

De Vries, co-founder of a technical company, flew 10 minutes to the edge of space on October 13 on the New Shepard space shuttle company Blue Origin with Shatner and two others.

“I’ll take some time to be able to describe it. It was incredible,” de Vries said as he pinned his “astronaut wings” on his blue swimsuit by Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

“We are devastated to hear of Glen de Vries’ sudden demise, ”Blue Origin tweeted Friday.

“He has brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his teammates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work and his dedication to his craft will long be honored and admired.”

De Vries founded Medidata Solutions, a software company specializing in clinical research, and was the vice president of life sciences and healthcare at Dassault Systèmes, which acquired Medidata in 2019. De Vries also served on the board of Carnegie Mellon University.

He participated in an auction for a seat on Blue Origin’s first spaceflight and bought a seat on the second voyage.

Fischer owned the Fischer Aviation flight school and was its head teacher, according to the company’s website.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

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