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A majority of this volume of Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry is dedicated to the distribution and behavior of Be in terrestrial environments, yet the Earth makes up less than 0.02% the mass of the solar system. Therefore, it seems sensible to explore the behavior of Be outside our terrestrial home. In addition to remotely sensed data from planetary and solar surfaces, there is a large suite of planetary materials that have been used for exploring the geochemistry and mineralogy of the solar system (Shearer et al. 1998). The first planetary samples in our collection were delivered to Earth as meteorites. These samples include material from numerous asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. This is an ever-growing collection of over 7000 well-documented samples with a total mass greater than 16,000 kg. In the second half of the 20th century, humans have been far less passive and much more systematic in collecting materials from other planetary bodies. Robotic and human sample return missions have been made to the Earth’s Moon, where over 2200 individual samples with a total weight of 384 kg have been collected. United States, Japanese and European survey teams have recovered over 16,000 meteorites in Antarctica. Interplanetary dust particles (<1 gram, ≈ 10,000 samples) are actively being collected in the stratosphere, from terrestrial polar ice, deep-sea sediments, and within impact features on spacecraft. Exciting new missions are underway or being planned to return samples from Mars, asteroids, comets, and other moons.
Since the pioneering work that laid the foundation of cosmochemistry (Oddo 1914; Harkins 1917; Goldschmidt 1926; Russell 1929; Atkinson and Houtermans 1929), significant inroads have been made into understanding the synthesis of Be in the cosmos and its behavior in extraterrestrial environments. Early studies from the 1960s and 1970s primarily emphasized the bulk Be …