Wednesday, June 15, 2011
A Google alert has informed me of this thread, where a discussion is taking place on the benefits of exploring Ceres vs. Mars and a number of other locations, and a general agreement that it really is a pity that it has taken so long to send a probe to explore the tiny planet. This is one of the spinoff benefits from Dawn's soon arrival at Vesta, that Vesta itself will not only be interesting but it will also increase interest in the next target, which is more or less invisible in the mental map of the Solar System most people have. The forum being nasaspaceflight.com, opinions there are quite well informed and there was no need to log in to note how launch windows to Ceres are more frequent than those to Mars - someone else mentioned it on the very first page.
I made a video showing exactly that a few years ago:
One destination not mentioned yet though is 24 Themis, which also has ice and almost zero inclination (which is a good thing). Actually maybe I will log on and add a comment.