Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Blue Origin astronaut Glen de Vries dies in plane crash

One of Blue Origin's newest astronauts, 49-year-old Glen de Vries, survived a ride to space in October alongside actor William Shatner. But less than a month later, he was killed in a small plane crash on Thursday in New Jersey.

"Our thoughts and support go out to Glen's family," said a spokesperson for Dassault Systèmes, where de Vries was the vice chairman of life sciences and healthcare. Our deepest sympathy also goes out to our MEDIDATA team, which Glen co-founded. His tireless energy, empathy and pioneering spirit left their mark on everyone who knew him. We will truly miss Glen, but his dreams -- which we share -- live on: we will pursue progress in life sciences & healthcare as passionately as he did."

The New Jersey State Police says the plane went down in a wooded area Thursday afternoon in Hampton Township, about 40 miles northwest of New York City. FAA records say a Cessna 172 -- a four-seat airplane used for training and recreational flights -- was involved in a fatal crash under "unknown circumstances in a heavily wooded area" Thursday. The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted Thursday it is investigating the crash.

State troopers say de Vries was accompanied on board by 54-year-old Thomas P. Fischer.
FAA records show de Vries was certified as a private pilot with an instrument rating, enabling him to fly into clouds and solely in reference to a plane's instruments.

De Vries never disclosed how much he paid for a seat on the New Shepherd spacecraft. But whatever the amount was, after returning to Earth, de Vries told CNN it was worth it.