Manitoba Daily

Sunday, December 5, 2021

An entrepreneur who worked on a space launch with William Shatner died

Key sentence:

  • Glen de Vries, died in a plane crash in New Jersey on Friday, state police said.
  • He was vice-chair of life science and medical care at Dassault Systemes, a French software corporation that acquired Medidata in 2019.

Glen de Vries, a medical research software mogul who travelled to space last month with actor William Shatner on a rocketship operated by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, died in a plane crash in New Jersey on Friday, state police said.

The investigators said the jet crashed on Thursday in Sussex County, New Jersey, approximately northwest of New York City, killing De Vries, 49, and another passenger, Thomas Fischer, 54.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the disaster, the aircraft, a single-engine Cessna 172, went down in a wooded section of a state park near Lake Kemah, New Jersey, about 40 minutes before nightfall.

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Other official facts about the accident’s circumstances were not immediately available.

“What a heartbreaking loss. Glen, who was kind and full of life, made us laugh and brightened the atmosphere. “He was a visionary, an inventor, and a real leader,” Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin and executive chairman of online retail behemoth Amazon.com, wrote on Twitter, adding that he was “heartbroken.”

Last month, De Vries, an instrument-rated private pilot and the founder of clinical research firm Medidata Solutions, took a suborbital joyride aboard the New Shepard rocketship of astro-tourism business Blue Origin, along with three other civilian crew members.

Glen de Vries, Blue Origin Astronaut, Dies in Plane Crash - WSJ

Shatner, the 90-year-old actor, best remembered for Captain James T. Kirk on the original 1960s television show Star Trek, was the most prominent of the four New Shepard passengers. Shatner became the oldest person to sail into space when he launched on Oct. 13.

Former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen and Blue Origin Vice President Audrey Powers were the other two crew members on that voyage.

According to a career summary of de Vries given by Blue Origin when he was selected as one of the New four Shepard passengers, Medidata Solutions, founded by de Vries in 1999, is the world’s most-used clinical research platform.

He was vice-chair of life science and medical care at Dassault Systemes, a French software corporation that acquired Medidata in 2019. He was also a trustee of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University.

Source: Global News

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