CAPE CANAVERAL – What a fine view of Mother Earth and what a smooth ride.
Tucked into the nose of the mammoth SpaceX unmanned rocket that blasted off Tuesday was tech pioneer Elon Musk's own cherry red convertible Tesla roadster, a vehicle that was in fact manned -- by a spacesuited dummy nicknamed Starman.
Once a protective coating called the fairing peeled away from the nose holding the payload, video beamed down live and broadcast via Twitter showed the slick, shiny automobile seeming to float in the dark of space until our big gray-blue planet drifted into view behind it, filling the background.
Whisps of white hinted at weather systems churning busily high above Earth's surface.
Starman had its right hand on the steering wheel and left arm stretched casually along the open left side of the car.
At another point in the video, a skinny, elongated reflection of the Earth, an image shaped roughly like a space rocket, of all things, crept forward along the left side of the car.
And through a strange optical effect, a similar reflection headed in the other direction from the front of the Tesla.
The tips of the two reflections kissed and merged into one shape, even as the rest of each kept flowing in opposite directions, lava-like, toward each other