Who knew 'the right stuff' would first show up in a stray female mutt with attitude? On November 3, 1957, Laika rode Sputnik 2 into outer space, the first living creature to reach earth orbit - but unlike all the animals and humans who followed, hers was a one-way ticket only. In 'Screwed Pooch,' award-winning filmmaker and author Jan Millsapps describes Laika's historic mission and its impact on the humans she encountered, both real and fictional. We meet her beloved yet duplicitous trainer, the brilliant yet anonymous 'chief designer' of the Soviet space program, her dog gal pals, Soviet top dog Nikita Khrushchev and his heavy-handed KGB, and residents of her old neighborhood, who mount a daring plan to rescue her. Laika's unprecedented journey takes us from the wind-swept Moscow streets to top-secret labs and launch sites, and from the miserable depths of a Soviet gulag to transcendent views of earth from outer space. Meticulously researched, 'Screwed Pooch' sheds light on Laika as the first space pioneer and examines her role in the early space race as both victim and heroine. Most importantly, Millsapps gives a distinct voice to the canine cosmonaut whose ultimate sacrifice paved the way for human space travel a few years later.
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About the Author
Jan Millsapps is a versatile and accomplished writer who has produced films, videos, digital and interactive cinema, and has published print and online media. She is a featured blogger on Apple’s Learning Interchange and contributing editor for the online, rich media journal “Academic Intersections.” Her films have been shown at the Smithsonian Institute, Kennedy Center, the International Center of Photography in New York, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco, and her multimedia work has been featured at the National Educational Film and Video Festival and at San Francisco City Hall. Her scholarly articles, political essays, poetry and short stories have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Times wire service, The State Magazine and Film/Literature Quarterly. She holds a Ph.D. in composition and rhetoric and recently earned a certificate in cosmology. She teaches screenwriting and digital cinema at San Francisco State University.