Cape Kennedy, Forida - Foam debris from the spacecraft's external tank hit space shuttle Endeavour shortly after lift off at 06.30 on Wednesday 16 July.
News reports said several pieces of the insulating polyurethane foam on the external fuel tank came loose and hit the Endeavour, as captured by external cameras on the tank.
Mission engineers will examine the footage and check the shuttle's tiles for any signs of damage over the coming days.
In 2003 damage to the shuttle Columbia shortly after lift-off by large pieces of debris from the external tank was identified as the cause of its disastrous break during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew.
This was the sixth launch attempt by Endeavour: the mission has been delayed several times first by technical issues and more recently by storms.
Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations, said in a 16 July NASA statement that the mission to come is "very challenging," with five spacewalks and robotic activities scheduled.
"The teams are fully prepared -- they're ready to go do what they need to go do, and we look forward to the exciting activities as we install the Exposed Facility out on the Kibo module," Gerstenmaier added. This shelter for the station's $1000 million Japanese Kibo complex will allow experiments to be conducted in the vacuum of space.