The Star Tracker 5000 is a miraculous device that can recognize where it's pointing at the night sky, report its position very quickly, and keep tracking targets for many minutes. It is licensed by NASA for use in its sub-orbital "Sounding Rocket" research program, and has flown in space on 30 missions and on five high-altitude balloon flights. It was invented, designed, and built at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by Sam Gabelt, Kurt Jaehnig, Don Michalski, Ken Nordsieck, and Jeff Percival.
Here are two very good videos, both about the Sounding Rocket mission to observe Comet ISON:
Some introductory items about the ST5000: