NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) was launched on August 25, 1997, carrying six high-resolution spectrometers that measure the abundances of the elements, isotopes, and ionic charge states of energetic nuclei in space. Data from these instruments is being used to measure and compare the composition of the solar corona, the nearby interstellar medium, and cosmic-ray sources in the Galaxy, and to study particle acceleration processes in a variety of environments. ACE also includes three instruments that monitor solar wind and energetic particle activity near the inner Lagrangian point, ‚1.5 million kilometers sunward of Earth, and provide continuous, real-time data to NOAA for use in forecasting space weather. Eleven of the articles in this volume review scientific progress and outline questions that ACE will address in solar, space-plasma, and cosmic-ray physics. Other articles describe the ACE spacecraft, the real-time solar-wind system, and the instruments used to measure energetic particle composition.