from the back of the book:
Help wanted: Long hours, dangerous conditions. Must be willing to relocate...
They are the men and women who are building the future. The beamjacks. The zero-gee construction workers hired to assemble gigantic satellites in the vacuum of space.
On the job, a moment's carelessness can lead to catastrophe. But the hardest part comes when the working day is over: boredom, homesickness, and the painful memories of the Earth they've left behind.
Management and the military think they have the beamjacks under control.
It won the Locus Award for best first novel. SFReviews.net calls it " hard SF at its gritty best". The profile at the MIT site says it "was written in the mid-1980s as an angry response to the Reagan Era's overt militarization of the space program."