Rare isotopes play a critical role in a variety of astrophysical sites. Despite their fleeting existence of often less then a second, they imprint their properties onto the chemical composition of the universe, & the properties of stellar explosions. Progress has been made in astronomical observations of the signatures of rare isotopes & the chemical evolution of the Galaxy. Similar progress is imminent in understanding the relevant properties of rare isotopes through experiments at rare isotope beam accelerators and nuclear theory. I will review the important role that rare isotopes play in understanding stellar explosions, show some examples of laboratory measurements that can already be done today, & give an outlook for the prospects of this field with the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams currently being established at Michigan State University by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.