United States

Man who took off to space aboard New Shepard in October dies

11:30, 13 November 2021
Man who took off to space aboard New Shepard in October dies Photo: CC BY-SA 2.0 /Cory W. Watts/wikimedia.org

One of the four crew members who recently traveled to space on the New Shepard capsule belonging to the Blue Origin company has died in the northern part of New Jersey due to a private plane crash, according to the KSL agency.

Glen de Vries, aged 49, and Thomas Fischer, 54, were inside a four-seat private plane Cessna 172 when the aircraft wrecked in a wooded area in New Jersey, state police said.

Both men shared a mutual interest in piloting as de Vries was an instrument-rated private pilot and his companion was the owner of a flight educational institution.

The police haven’t said who was operating the plane that day.

The plane with two men aboard took off from Essex County Airport located in Caldwell near New York City and was set to reach Sussex Airport, northwest of New Jersey. Nonetheless, the plane expected to land in Sussex Airport hadn't shown up, so the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) signaled safety agencies that the plane disappeared from radars. The alarm came at around 3 pm local time.

At nearly 4 pm the emergency services approached the area of wreckage, the FAA reported.

Glen de Vries was among three other crew members who reached space at the beginning of October. He was accompanied by 90-years-old William Shatner, the Canadian actor who played a role in the famous Star Trek movies and who has also set up a record of the oldest man ever visited space. The flight of the second commercial space voyage lasted 11 minutes.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, took part in the very first commercial flight of his company with also three members aboard.