NASA Snaps First Shots of Mercury From Orbit Future photos to reveal planet's unseen regions By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Mar 30, 2011 2:17 PM CDT 12 comments Comments This image provided by NASA is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the planet. (AP Photo/NASA) (Newser) – A NASA spacecraft has captured the first photo of Mercury taken from orbit. The first of yesterday’s 363 images, shown at left, show the planet’s south pole. The gray surface is covered with craters, including a 53-mile-wide one known as Debussy. Other photos from the $464 million Messenger probe will likely reveal previously-unseen parts of the planet, Space.com reports; it's expected to circle the planet for a year.