Man who went to space with William Shatner dies in plane crash in New Jersey

Blue Origin vice president of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers, Star Trek actor William Shatner, Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen and Medidata Solutions co-founder Glen de Vries wave from the landing pad of Blue Origin's New Shepard

A man who traveled to space with William Shatner last month was killed along with another person when a small plane crashed in northern New Jersey, according to state police.

Glen M. de Vries, 49, of New York City, and Thomas P. Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, were aboard the single-engine Cessna 172 that went down Thursday in a wooded area of Hampton Township. 

The aircraft had departed from Essex County Airport in Caldwell and was headed to Sussex Airport when the Federal Aviation Administration alerted public safety agencies to look for the missing plane around 3 p.m. Emergency crews found the wreckage around 4 p.m., the FAA said.


The crew on Blue Origin's New Shepard NS-18. Glen M. de Vries is at far right. (Photo courtesy of Blue Origin)

De Vries founded Medidata Solutions, a tech company, and was a trustee at Carnegie Mellon University. He traveled Oct. 13 aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft, spending more than 10 minutes in space after launching along with Shatner and others.

Fischer owned and was the head instructor at his family-run flight school, Fischer Aviation.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.


Star Trek actor William Shatner and Medidata Solutions co-founder Glen de Vries on the landing pad of Blue Origin's New Shepard after they flew into space on Oct. 13, 2021, near Van Horn, Texas. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)