The shuttle Endeavour crew scanned the ship's wings and heat shield on Saturday, checking for damage after Friday's launch as it headed for a rendezvous with the International Space Station, Reuters reported.
The inspections, done with a sensor-laden boom attached to the shuttle's robot arm, have been standard since the 2003 Columbia disaster, when debris from the shuttle's external fuel tank knocked a hole in its wing, causing the craft to disintegrate as it entered the Earth's atmosphere. All seven astronauts aboard were killed.
Engineers thought they saw a 12-to-18-inch (30-46 cm) strip of insulation fly off from the rear of Endeavour, but images relayed by the astronauts on Saturday appeared to show nothing amiss.
"There's no apparent damage there," lead flight director Mike Sarafin told reporters on Saturday night.
NASA was still assessing a flyaway object spotted in video of the shuttle's liftoff.
"It looked like something was clearly there," Sarafin added.
The issue was considered minor, as was a glitch with one of the shuttle's communications antennas.
The shuttle, which rocketed off its seaside launch pad in Florida on Friday night, was on schedule to slip into a berthing port at the space station at 5:04 p.m. EST (2204 GMT) on Sunday to begin an 11- or 12-day stay.
Astronaut Sandra Magnus will swap places with space station flight engineer Greg Chamitoff, who has been aboard the outpost since June. The shuttle also carries more than 7 tonnes of gear for the station, including equipment needed to expand the number of full-time residents to six from three.
The shuttle carries two new sleeping compartments and a water recycling system so station crew members can purify urine and other wastewater for drinking.
The shuttle crew also has four spacewalks planned to repair the station's solar power system.
Last year, spacewalking astronauts discovered contamination inside a rotary joint that pivots the panels so they can track the sun for power. NASA locked the joint in place to prevent further deterioration. Astronauts will attempt to clean up the joint and replace suspect bearings. They also will be doing maintenance on the station's second rotary joint.
The space station, a $100 billion project of 16 member nations that orbits 220 miles (354 km) above Earth, has been under construction for 10 years. NASA plans nine more assembly and resupply missions to the outpost after Endeavour's before the space shuttles are retired in 2010, leaving crew transport services for the Russians to handle with their Soyuz capsules.
NASA hopes to hire a commercial launch services firm in the United States for station cargo deliveries. A contract award is expected by January.