Roamy here. XBradTC has written about the venerable C-130 in the form of the AC-130 gunship here and here and also the MC-130. On the NASA side of the blog, there are Air Force C-130’s supporting every shuttle launch if search and rescue is needed. There are C-130’s used in earth science research.
We tend to forget that the first A in NASA is “aeronautics”. The NASA aeronautics centers – Ames, Dryden, Langley, and Glenn – contributed research into composite wings, advanced avionics, flight simulation, and prop design for the C-130J (old press release).
The LC-130 variant, with skis for landing gear, is used to ferry scientists and equipment between McMurdo Station and the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and other places in Antarctica.
Scientists from the Johnson Space Center hunt meteorites at the South Pole. When everything is ice and snow, it’s easier to find meteorites, and the JSC crew has found over 16,000.