Man Who Flew To Space With William Shatner Dies In Small Plane Crash

Glen de Vries was 49 years old.

Glen de Vries, a software executive who traveled to space last month with William Shatner, died Thursday in a small plane crash in New Jersey. He was 49.

De Vries was traveling in a single-engine Cessna 172 when it crashed under unknown circumstances in a heavily wooded area near Hampton Township, New Jersey, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Thomas P. Fischer, 54, was the only other person on board the plane. He also died in the crash, New Jersey State Police told ABC News.

De Vries blasted to the edge of space last month aboard a Blue Origin rocket with Shatner, as well as Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of a satellite company, and Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin executive.

After his return to Earth, de Vries told The Guardian the experience “was more beautiful and more dazzling and more frightening than I ever imagined.”

The trip also impressed upon him the fragility of life on Earth, he told his alma mater Carnegie Melon University in an interview.

“There’s such a stark contrast between Earth and space and that line where we all live in between is frighteningly small,” he said. “I know climate change is a huge problem, but the view made strikingly clear: If we really want Earth to be beautiful the way that we as humans can live on it and enjoy it, we need to start thinking about preserving the environment urgently.”

Blue Origin shared its condolences in a statement Friday.

“We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries,” the company 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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