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A rapid star tracking algorithm is proposed. In order to speed up the tracking, three techniques includng parallel star centroiding, sorting, and star catalogue partition are designed for three time-consuming portions in tracking algorithms. The parallel star centroiding is implemented with Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) which avoid image storage and transmission. Update rate of star sensor is improved. Sorting star coordinates in star image plane, and then matching, which avoid matching between stars with a long distance in image plane. Star catalogue partition divides the celestial sphere into many small partitions. In star mapping, guide stars are searched in the partitions near the direction of star sensor's boresight is not in the whole celestial sphere and therefore reduced the total number of searched guide stars. The software and hardware performance of tracking algorithms are simulated. Tracking robustness and the tracking speed comparison are tested in the software simulation. In hardware tests, the tracking time in every step is obtained.