Astronaut who went to space alongside William Shatner dies in plane crash
By Kristin Fisher and Pete Muntean, CNN Business
(CNN) -- 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."
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.
"We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries," a spokesperson for Blue Origin said. "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."
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