While most of us regard optical engineering as a small-scale laboratory activity, one of my friends at the Max Planck Institut in Munich, Dr. Gerhard Haerendel, and his colleagues from around the world are about to use a much larger laboratory. Project Fircwheel is an enterprise which uses the magneto sphere as its optics laboratory. To plasma clouds, one of lithium and one of barium vapor, will be generated' at various distances from the earth. The aim is to study the interaction of the injected dense and cool plasmas with their dilute and hot environment. To this end, more than twenty diagnostic instruments have been installed on the Firewheel satellite. The clouds will also be studied by optical means from Earth. The optically visible display will be the largest man-made display in history.