According to telemetry as seen in videos of the event, the car was ejected from the Stage 2 rocket at 114km above Earth.
- Anything less than 160km will immediately enter a rapidly decaying orbit and will descend to Earth.
The car had no independent boosters or guidance system on it.
The car's whole-Earth, blue-marble photo must have been taken at least 800km from Earth (the exact distance is hard to find on the internet, as opinion on 'space forums' and the like is hugely varied - some say 1600kms, some say you can 'never' see a whole-Earth image due to non-converging tangents or something (?)).
Either way, only 2 other whole-Earth photos exist (apparently) one on Apollo 16 (with 35mm film) and the second recently by DSCOVR (at 1.5 million km away with a 1024x1024 pixels)
How did the car get from 114km to a distance necessary to get the whole-Earth image without rocket-boosters and guidance?