Beth, it is important to have useful criticism. At General Electric we were schooled constantly about this. If you were going to criticize something you had better have an alternative. Quite frankly, the alternative may be argued with, but in the process we typically came up with a synthesis that moved things forward. Don't be afraid to criticize, but don't just complain, either.
Great post, Dave. Groupthink is a danger that happens across all professions and to everyone at some point in time in their personal life. The on-going challenge is to strike that balance between useful criticism and problem identification and trying to find issues just because it's expected. Groupthink is also often a result of an ingrained organizational culture which unfortunately, transcends any one engineer's ability to break down and fix.
On April 15, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a major speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announcing that the US would send astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s. But in order to do so, NASA would first need to ramp up its capabilities through missions directed toward "a series of increasingly demanding targets," i.e. asteroids.
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