Professor Monic Grady says Colin Pillinger's death has been a tragic blow, and that he didn't live to see the end of the Rosetta Mission, of which he had been a 'driving force'.
Speaking to ITV News Anglia back in 2010, Prof. Pillinger explains the 'very British reason' for the failure of the Beagle 2 spacecraft.
Dave Moore, who worked with Colin Pillinger on the Beagle 2 project, pays tribute to a scientist with huge charisma and wonderful drive.
Alex James from Blur, who worked with Prof Pillinger on the Beagle 2 project, has paid tribute to the scientist
The Essex musician-turned-farmer helped to finance the space project and the band created the probe's call sign.
"Colin had the rare gift of being able to make things that were complicated and ambitious seem simple and achievable. We need more scientists like that. He was unique, and I will miss him."
The family of planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger told the BBC his death was "devastating and unbelievable".
The pioneering scientist, who was best known for the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission to Mars, became a professor in interplanetary science at the Open University in 1991.
He also earned a host of other qualifications and numerous awards during his prestigious career.
Planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, who died today aged 70, was most famous for the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission to Mars.
The craft was supposed to land on the planet on Christmas Day 2003 and search for signs of life but vanished without a trace.
It was last seen heading towards the red planet on December 19 after separating from its European Space Agency mothership Mars Express.
Afterwards Prof Pillinger spoke of his frustration at the failed probe, and said there was nothing that should not have worked.
Pioneering scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, who was the driving force behind Britain's Mars lander Beagle 2, suffered a brain haemorrhage at his home in Cambridge.
The professor, who was awarded the CBE in 2003, later died in hospital, a spokesman said.
Planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, who was known for his Beagle 2 Mars mission, has died aged 70.
A giant sandpit in a warehouse in Stevenage, Hertfordshire is helping in the vital research into space missions to the planet Mars.
A newly-enlarged test area has been opened at Airbus Defence and Space to put Mars rover vehicles through their paces.
The Mars Yard, which is now 30 metres by 13 metres, will be used to fully develop the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover mission due to be launched in 2018.
Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes