The deputy chief of the U.S. Space Command, which likely would direct the nation's shield against Soviet ballistic missiles, yesterday declared that a U.S.-Soviet treaty banning weapons from space is "a damn worthy goal" for the superpower arms negotiators.

"I think we should negotiate toward . . . no weapons in space," Navy Vice Adm. William E. Ramsey told a forum on space and national security at the Brookings Institution. "We should have as a national objective . . . an environment in space where weapons are not introduced."

Ramsey's remarks appeared to put him at odds with the Reagan administration's longstanding drive in arms control negotiations to obtain Soviet approval for future U.S. deployment of a "Star Wars" missile shield involving hundreds and perhaps thousands of weapons in space.

Ramsey is vice commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and a deputy commander of the Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo. Last month, the command was assigned tentative responsibility for operating the potential U.S. missile shield under development by the Pentagon's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Organization.

Ramsey said, however, that he sees no conflict between his support for a space weapons ban and his potential responsibility for operating SDI weapons aimed at destroying Soviet boosters. "I strongly favor continued research on SDI, which . . . has kept the Soviets at the negotiating table," Ramsey said.

But he also said "if we could outlaw weapons in space, it would be a damn worthy goal," and joined several other speakers at the meeting in suggesting that the administration at least pursue a ban on weapons capable of destroying satellites.

Although the administration has repeatedly spurned an agreement on antisatellite weapons, Congress blocked the space tests needed to complete development of such a weapon, and the Air Force, in part because of budget cuts, responded last month by canceling its effort to do so.

Ramsey indicated he favored a pact eliminating existing Soviet capability to destroy low-altitude U.S. satellites, but expressed doubt the Soviets would allow the highly intrusive inspections of its rocket-launching pads needed to verify compliance.

Air Force Gen. Robert T. Herres told the forum, however, that such inspections may be possible "without revealing other {highly sensitive} activities."

Herres, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said verification of a space weapons ban likely would be far less difficult than verifying limitations on earth-bound weapons such as sea-launched cruise missiles.

Herres declined to offer his opinion of a space weapons ban, but said "chances are we would like to see" a negotiated limit on space weapons, if not a ban.

Herres also said a longstanding proposal by senior U.S. arms control adviser Paul H. Nitze to negotiate limits on SDI research was "not without merit." The proposal, which calls for U.S. and Soviet negotiators to draw up a detailed agreement on missile defense research permitted or barred by the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, has "some interesting ramifications" and "certainly . . . should not be summarily cast aside," Herres said.

Nitze's approach has been rejected repeatedly by President Reagan and Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci; the Soviets support it.

Neither Herres nor Ramsey said why they thought space weapon limitations should be pursued. Ramsey indicated that such weapons eventually will threaten vital reconnaissance, communications, and weather satellites "needed by on-scene commanders and the decision-makers in Washington to make timely, accurate decisions based on facts."