Glen de Vries, Who Went Into Space With William Shatner, Dies in Plane Crash

Entrepreneur joined ”Star Trek“ actor on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin

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Glenn de Vries, a businessman who accompanied WIlliam Shatner into space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, died in a plane crash on Thursday Nov. 11. He was 49.

The plane crashed in Sussex County, New Jersey just before 3 p.m., New Jersey state police said.

“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,” the Blue Origin team tweeted. “His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired.”

De Vries, actor William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen and Audrey Powers ventured to space on the New Shepard NS-18 in October 2021 on the second Blue Origin flight to carry humans. Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos greeted the passengers upon their return.

De Vries worked was a pilot in his spare time. His training and background in molecular biology led him to co-found Medidata Solutions, the most-used clinical research platform in the world. The company’s software has managed more than 25,000 clinical trials involving more than seven million patients. Dassault Systèmes acquired the company in 2019 for $5.8 billion.

“The entire Carnegie Mellon University community is devastated by the loss of alumnus and trustee Glen de Vries,” wrote CMU President Farnam Jahanian in a statement Friday.“To be in Glen’s presence was to be immersed in his exuberance and zest for life, and I am filled with tremendous sorrow that we will no longer be able to experience this gift or share it with others.”

De Vries graduated from Carnegie Melon University, where he also became a member of the board of trustees. He also studied computer science at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematics.

“Playing a part in advancing the space industry and one day making those resources and that understanding available to everyone is an incredible opportunity,” de Vries said of going to space before his flight. “I’ve been passionate about aviation and space for as long as I can remember, so this flight is truly a dream come true.”

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