Reaction to SpaceX’s launch of the most powerful rocket in operation today:

“View from SpaceX Launch Control. Apparently there is a car in orbit around Earth.”— SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk via Twitter

“Beautiful shots of Starman chilling in the Tesla Roadster. Absolutely incredible.” — SpaceX engineer and launch commentator Michael Hammersley

“If people think we’re in a race with the Chinese, this is our secret weapon: the entrepreneurship of people like Elon (Musk) and others like Jeff Bezos.” — former Mars czar Scott Hubbard of Stanford University

“It was awesome like a science fiction movie coming to reality. They nailed it.”— former NASA deputy administrator and MIT astronautics professor Dava Newman

“It’s really a major step forward in space exploration … It is a test flight, the beginnings of the long road you have to do to qualify to put folks on board.” — former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe

“This is just a very monumental and very visual piece of evidence that shows how strong American industry is.”— former NASA chief technology officer Bobby Braun of University of Colorado