The administration decision to hold the first test of an antisatellite weapon against a target in space, now scheduled for Friday, will be subjected to two congressional hearings and a court suit this week, according to sources.
Particularly at issue will be Congress' legislative requirement that President Reagan certify he is "endeavoring in good faith to negotiate with the Soviet Union a mutual and verifiable agreeement" to limit such weapons.
In his certification to Congress Aug. 20, Reagan wrote that because of verification problems, "no agreements beyond those already governing military activities in outer space" had been found to "meet the congressionally mandated requirement of verifiability."
Thus, the president added, he had been "unable to identify a specific antisatellite proposal" that met the congressional requirements.
Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D-Calif.), a leading critic of the controversial antisatellite program, last week called the president's certification "a pious fraud."
On Wednesday, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee and a panel of the House Armed Services Committee will hear from Kenneth L. Adelman, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
Adelman will be questioned about the administration's certification and decision to proceed with the test before the November summit meeting between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, according to committee sources.
Adelman criticized congressional limits on antisatellite testing in a recent interview, calling the certification requirement "bull." Brown last week told his colleagues that since Adelman called the congressional certification requirement "bull . . . that it can therefore be responded to with more bull, and that is what has been done."
Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists, a private organization, will ask the U.S. District Court here to delay the Pentagon's antisatellite test on grounds that the president has not complied with the requirement.