MOSCOW, OCT. 8 -- Stepan F. Bogodyazh, a top official of the Soviet space organization Glavkosmos, said today that a group representing their potential launch customers, including an American company, will be allowed to visit the remote and normally off-limits Baikonur cosmodrome "this month."

The rare opening of the mammoth launch complex on the Kazakhstan steppes to westerners is part of a push to sell launch services on the Soviets' workhorse Proton rocket at subsidized prices that are one-third that of other countries.

Companies represented on the trip to inspect Baikonur launch facilities are Hughes Communications, British Aerospace and Inmarsat, Bogodyazh said in an interview. The International Maritime Satellite Organization is a consortium whose major owner is the U.S. Communications Satellite Corp.

U.S. restrictions prevent American companies from exporting satellites to the Soviet Union for launch, because of concern that critical technology will be exposed to Soviet eyes. The same restrictions contractually affect many potential Soviet customers in other countries because most if not all satellites contain some protected U.S. technology, satellite specialists say.

However, according to industry sources, Roger Smith, the chairman of General Motors Corp., which owns Hughes, recently wrote a letter to Secretary of State George P. Shultz requesting a waiver of the restriction.

{A spokeswoman for Hughes confirmed that the company had expressed interest in using the Proton and that the invitation was received from the Soviets. She also confirmed that a letter was sent to Shultz but said that on the basis of the government's response, "we do not have plans to accept the invitation unless the U.S. government asks us to do so." Comsat could not be reached for comment Thursday night.}

Satellite industry officials say such a waiver would be anathema to American aerospace companies, which are beginning to market their own launch services commercially now that the Reagan administration has banished most commercial payloads from the space shuttle. That move was taken to encourage a private launch industry and some warn that allowing access to Soviet launchers could kill off most of the American industry before it got started.

Until recently, the Soviets required any customers to send their satellite to Baikonur and allow Soviet technicians to integrate it with the rocket, an arrangement that was objectionable to potential clients despite the low price. Now, however, Glavkosmos is inviting customers to send their own teams to Baikonur to mount the satellites.

Soviet launch capability has developed a strong appeal for some American and other companies whose satellites need a ride into orbit in the wake of the January 1986 Challenger disaster, which along with other accidents left most of the U.S. rocket fleet grounded.

The Soviets mounted an aggressive marketing campaign to take advantage of the vacuum, deepened by last year's grounding of the European Space Agency's Ariane rockets, which only recently resumed flights.

The Soviets have offered Proton launches for $33 million, or about one-third the price of either U.S. or European services. The marketing program prompted release of a wealth of information about the Proton (called Sl12 by U.S. defense officials) early last year, including its record of seven failures in 97 launch attempts, and its ability to put up to 20 tons into low orbit.

Some satellite specialists say there are problems with the Proton, however, such as concern that vibrations may be too severe for American satellites -- which are more fragile and sophisticated than the simpler, sturdier Soviet sputniks.

Industry sources say the Soviets continue to suffer a credibility gap because of the secrecy that still shrouds much of their space activity.

The only westerners known to have visited Baikonur since it was built in the 1950s were French President Charles de Gaulle, the Apollo-Soyuz astronauts, who in the mid-1970s refused to fly a joint mission with the Soviets unless they were granted an inspection of the complex, and a team of French engineers who were providing instruments for a Soviet mission in the mid-1980s.