On this week 50 years ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins made their historic 240,000-mile journey to the moon.

Back home on Earth, a captivated world tuned to televisions and radios, eagerly awaiting the "one giant leap" of humans walking on the lunar surface for the first time.

RiverTown Multimedia spoke with two residents of Deer Crest Senior Living in Red Wing about what they remember from that fateful week in July 1969.

Navy veteran James Badker was in his 30s at the time, living with his wife in South Dakota. He recalled watching the landing on television. Typically after coming home from his work shift Badker would fall asleep, but on this particular day he said he decided to stay up and watch the Apollo 11 newscast.

"I was really in awe," Badker said.

A state away in Minnesota, Mary Rohr - then 40 years old - was busy raising her seven kids. She remembered listening to CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite report on the Apollo 11 mission.

"I thought what's next?" Rohr said.

After traveling for four days, the Apollo Lunar Module landed on the moon July 20, 1969.

Badker, now an octogenarian, reflected on his first thoughts regarding the landing.

"I think the first thing was, 'Is this real?'" he said. "Are they really on the moon? Are they really prancing around on the moon?"

It was real. As Armstrong said when the lander touched down on the lunar surface, "The Eagle has landed."

Armstrong and Aldrin took photos, collected samples of lunar dust and rock, put up a U.S. flag and ran small scientific experiments. The crew began their journey back to earth and arrived home on July 24.

Rohr, now 90 years old, remembers watching the news the day Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins returned home. She said she found those few days to be nerve racking and was concerned about them making it back to Earth safely.

"I think I was more worried about them getting back," Rohr said. "I can't imagine what went through their minds."

The Apollo 11 mission was described by Armstrong as "a beginning of a new age." Since then 10 astronauts have walked on the moon, with the last mission in 1972.

One can only wonder what the next 50 years of space exploration will bring.

NASA TV, www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv, will be playing video including the original CBS broadcast of the moon landing on Saturday.