%Dr. Edward Teller, the onetime hawk and nuclear physicist often described at the "father of the hydrogen bomb," yesterday called on the United States to release to the entire world its spy satellite photographs of earth.
"I am aware such a suggestion runs completely counter to present practice," the Hungarian-born Teller told the Senate Commerce subcommittee on science, technology and space, "but I believe such a move would contribute to the peace and stability of the whole world."
Teller said U.S. reconnaissance satellite photographs should be made available on a routine basis to most countries. He said that if the United States did not want to do it, an international consortium should be formed to put up a spy satellite and distribute its photos to everybody.
"It is very important that verification of treaties and intentions be made public knowledge everywhere," Teller said. "Otherwise, people in power will continue to call each other liars and the people in general will continue to be confused by these public statements."
Teller's call for an "open space" policy is the most recent in a series of suggestions he has made to do away with the world's military secrets. Previously, he has called for a law requiring declassification of scientific secrets, including those pertaining to the development of nuclear weapons.
Teller said he would like to open up all U.S. space secrets to the world but he recognizes that revealing the results of electronic eavesdropping might be impractical.
"I will confine my proposal to photo reconnaissance because countermeasures against it are very difficult," Teller said. "And to the extent that the Russians might learn something from the publication of pictures alone, I think these pictures would be of little help to them."
Testifying before Sen. Adlai E. Stevenson's subcommittee, which is seeking advice on how the space shuttle should be used, Teller said he thought its first priority should be weather forecasting and its second one crop forecasting.
"The shuttle could take up a small satellite once very week that could watch wind velocities at almost all levels of the atmosphere," Teller said. "Using a combination of radar and lasers we could get a real comprehensive view of the atmosphere from an angel's point of view."
The one thing he would never use the shuttle for, Teller said, is a solar power satellite to supply Earth with electricity by microwave transmission.
"My own estimate," Teller said, "is that solar space energy will cost for the rest of this century at least 30 times what we pay each year for our national fuel bill." The national oil bill alone comes to more than $60 billion a year.
Teller said that anyone who pays for it should be allowed room aboard the space shuttle but that the privilege should be denied to anyone who wants to conduct research in secret aboard the shuttle.